NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016
Preparing for treatment
– an expert in healthy foods and
• Nurse – an expert trained to care for the sick,
• Social worker
– an expert in meeting social
and emotional needs, and a
• Supportive care specialist – an expert in
improving quality of life.
At the meetings, your treatment team will create a
treatment plan based on the clinical stage of the
cancer. Your treatment team will also meet while
you are on treatment and afterward to discuss the
treatment results and the next steps of care.
You will likely meet with a nutritionist before starting
treatment. The nutritionist can assess the toll of the
cancer on your nutrition. For example, the cancer
may have made swallowing difficult or painful. This is
called dysphagia, which may have stopped you from
getting good nutrition. Likewise, the cancer may also
have caused you to lose too much weight.
It is important that you receive adequate and
sustained nutrition before you start treatment. Surgery
and other cancer treatments may be too dangerous if
you are weak from a lack of nutrition. A nutritionist can
advise you on ways to eat or drink better.
You may be advised to receive your food through a
feeding tube. Three options are a nasogastric tube,
), and PEG (
astrostomy) tube. A nasogastric tube
and J-tube are the preferred options of NCCN
See Figure 9
. A nasogastric tube is
inserted down your nose and into your stomach. A
J-tube is inserted through the skin and into the small
intestine. A PEG tube is inserted through the skin and
into the stomach.
Feeding tubes may help you gain
strength to undergo treatment. A
nasogastric tube is inserted down
your nose and into your stomach.
A J-tube is inserted through your
skin and into your intestine.
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