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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016

How to use this book

Who should read this book?

The information in this booklet is about cancer of

the esophagus. Patients and those who support

them—caregivers, family, and friends—may find

this book helpful. It may help you discuss and

decide with doctors what care is best

Where should I start


Starting with

Part 1

may be helpful. It explains

what esophageal cancer is. Knowing more

about this cancer may help you better

understand its treatment.

Part 2

explains cancer

staging, which is used to plan treatment.

Part 3

lists which health tests and other steps of care

are needed before treatment.

Parts 4 through 6 address cancer treatment.

Part 4

briefly describes the treatments.

Part 5


a guide to treatment options for squamous cell

carcinomas and

Part 6

, for adenocarcinomas.

Tips for making treatment decisions are

presented in

Part 7


Does the whole book apply

to me?

This book includes information for many

situations. Your treatment team can help. They

can point out what information applies to you.

They can also give you more information. As

you read through this book, you may find it

helpful to make a list of questions to ask your


The recommendations in this book are based on

science and the experience of NCCN experts.

However, these recommendations may not be

right for you. Your doctors may suggest other

tests and treatments based on your health and

other factors. If other suggestions are given, feel

free to ask your treatment team questions.

Making sense of medical


In this book, many medical words are included.

These are words that you will likely hear from

your treatment team. Most of these words may

be new to you, and it may be a lot to learn.

Don’t be discouraged as you read. Keep reading

and review the information. Don’t be shy to ask

your treatment team to explain a word or phrase

that you do not understand.

Words that you may not know are defined in the

text or in the


. Words in the


are underlined when first used on a page.


are also defined when first used

and in the


. Acronyms are short words

formed from the first letters of several words.

One example is DNA for