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61

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016

Supportive care

Advanced cancer cannot be treated with local

treatments. Advanced cancer includes metastatic

disease (M1 stage). Instead, supportive care is given.

When used for advanced cancers, supportive care is

often called palliative care.

The goal of supportive care is to prevent and relieve

discomfort you may have since the cancer can’t be

cured. Supportive care may also extend life, improve

your eating, and help you feel better overall.

People without advanced cancer also receive

supportive care. Some aspects of supportive care,

such as symptom control, are useful for many people

with any stage of esophageal cancer. Symptom

control is presented on pages 63 and 64.

Guide 12

lists the options used to manage

advanced cancer. Options are based on your

performance status, which is your ability to do

activities. Your doctor will rate your performance

status by one of two scales:

ECOG (

E

astern

C

ooperative

O

ncology

G

roup)

Performance Scale

• A

score of 0

means you are fully active.

• A

score of 1

means you are able to do all

self-care activities but are unable to do hard

physical work.

• A

score of 2

means you are able to do all

self-care activities and spend most of waking

time out of bed but you are unable to do any

work.

• A

score of 3

means you are unable to do all

self-care activities and any work and spend

most of waking time in bed.

• A

score of 4

means you are fully disabled.

KPS (

K

arnofsky

P

erformance

S

tatus)

• A

score of 0 to 49

means you are unable to

care for yourself.

• A

score of 50 to 79

means you are unable to

work and some assistance is needed.

• A

score of 80 to 100

means you are able to

do your normal work and activities.

If you have an ECOG score of 2 or less or a KPS

score of 60 more, you may receive systemic therapy

to slow down cancer growth. Regimens are listed on

page 62.

Supportive care that excludes systemic therapy is

an option if you have an ECOG score of 3 or more

or a KPS score of less than 60. You may receive

other types of care to improve your quality of life.

Read pages 63 and 64 to learn more about symptom

control.

5

Treatment guide: Squamous cell carcinoma Advanced cancer