NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016
Preparing for treatment
Barrett’s esophagus, Bloom syndrome, tylosis,
and Fanconi anemia are health conditions that are
strongly linked to esophageal cancer. You should
be referred to a genetic counselor if you have such
conditions. A genetic counselor is an expert in
changes within genes that are related to disease.
Doctors often perform a physical exam along with
taking a medical history. A physical exam is a study of
your body for signs of disease. During this exam, your
doctor will listen to your lungs, heart, and gut.
Your doctor will also look at and feel parts of your
body. This is done to see if organs are of normal size,
are soft or hard, or cause pain when touched. Cancer
and other health conditions can cause organs to
become enlarged and hard.
A CBC (
ount) gives important
information about the parts of blood. One example
is the number of white blood cells, red blood cells,
and platelets. Your blood counts may be low because
the cancer has spread into your bones, the cancer
is causing bleeding, or because of another health
Comprehensive chemistry profile
Chemicals in your blood come from your liver, bone,
and other organs. A comprehensive chemistry profile
assesses if the chemicals in your blood are too low
or high. Abnormal levels can be caused by spread of
cancer or by other diseases.
CT scan with contrast
omography) is used to help stage the
cancer. It is an imaging test that makes pictures of the
insides of your body. The pictures are called images.
CT takes many pictures of a body part from different
angles using x-rays. A computer combines the x-rays
to make detailed pictures.
A CT scan of your chest and abdomen is advised.
A CT scan of your pelvis is advised if other tests
suggest that the cancer has spread to your pelvis.
A contrast dye should be used to make the pictures
clearer. The dye will be injected into your vein and
mixed with a liquid you drink.
Contrast may cause you to feel flushed or get hives.
Rarely, serious allergic reactions occur. Tell your
doctor and the technicians if you have had bad
reactions in the past.