To ensure you receive the best care, your doctor will arrange for a team of health professionals to plan your treatment and recommend treatment based on your preferences and needs.
The team will be made up of health professionals who have experience managing conditions such as oesophagogastric cancer. Your doctor will tell you when the team will be discussing your case.
Your doctor should discuss the different treatment options with you including the likely outcomes, expected timeframes, possible side effects and the risks and benefits. Your doctor may also suggest you consider taking part in a clinical trial. You might want to ask for more time before deciding on your treatment, or ask for a second opinion.
Let your team know about any complementary therapies you are using or thinking about trying. Some therapies may not be appropriate, depending on your medical treatment.
Oesophagogastric cancer is often not found until it is advanced because symptoms can go unnoticed, and it can sometimes be difficult to completely remove all the cancerous cells. In some cases more than one type of treatment will be used to get the best outcome.
Treatment options for oesophagogastric cancer:
It is important that this surgery is performed by a surgeon who is experienced in performing oesophagogastric cancer surgery and who regularly performs these operations.
Several types of treatment can be done by passing an endoscope down the throat. Some of these treatments may be used to try to cure very early stage cancers or even to prevent them from developing.
Chemotherapy or drug therapy
Chemotherapy or drug therapy may be given to treat cancers that have spread to other organs.
Radation therapy (also called radiotherapy) may benefit patients with some types of oesophagogastric cancer including cancer that has spread to different parts of the body. It may be given to you in combination with surgery or chemotherapy.
The doctor inserts a tube of flexible mesh (a stent) into your oesophagus. The stent expands the oesophagus to allow fluid and food to pass into the stomach more easily.
Your doctor should discuss your needs with you during and after treatment (including physical, psychological, social and information) and may refer you to another service or health professional for different aspects of your care. It is particularly important that you have access to a dietitian and a speech pathologist during your treatment.
It can be helpful to contact cancer peer support groups and support groups for carers.
Palliative treatment could be used at different stages to relieve various symptoms and help to improve quality of life. Help should be sought for any troubling symptoms (for example pain, difficulty swallowing). For more information about treatment and treatment side effects ask your doctor or visit www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/treatment.