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29

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016

3

Preparing for treatment

Good nutrition

• Nutritionist

– an expert in healthy foods and

drinks,

• 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.

Good nutrition

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,

J-tube (

j

ejunostomy

tube

), and PEG (

p

ercutaneous

e

ndoscopic

g

astrostomy) tube. A nasogastric tube

and J-tube are the preferred options of NCCN

experts.

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.

Figure 9.

Feeding tubes

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.

Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.

www.nucleusinc.com