Esophageal Cancer

This is a malignant tumor originating in the mucosa of the esophagus.

What causes esophageal cancer ?

The most common risk factors for developing esophageal cancer are smoking, alcohol consumption (especially of high-percentage alcoholic beverages), and frequent ingestion of hot drinks and food.

There are a number of predisposing disorders like achalasia (enlargement of the lower part of the esophagus), injuries with alkalis and acids, vitamin- / iron deficiency, Barret esophagus (gastric mucosa islands in the lower part of the esophagus), and malignant tumors of the head and neck.

How can one recognise esophageal cancer ?

Classical symptoms are disturbances of swallowing and pain during swallowing, or behind the breastbone. Other possible symptoms comprise weight loss, tiredness, coughing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and fever, usually indicating a more advanced stage of the tumor.

How can I help you ?

Contact me via my mobile phone 0664 206 74 80 and fix an appointment in my private praxis. During our first meeting we will discuss your personal situation in all details, and I will examine you physically. In case of existent complaints I will prescribe you usually promptly effective symptomatic medications. The subsequent diagnostic steps must be planned and scheduled. I will give you a referral for a laboratory examination, a gastroscopy in order to histologically ascertain the diagnosis, and a computertomography of the cervical organs, the chest and abdomen in order to assess the stage of the disease. Sometimes additional examinations will be required, which I will also organise for you.

Depending on the results of these examinations the optimal treatment strategy for you will be defined.

Subsequent steps after having diagnosed esophageal cancer

In case of an early stage, radical resection of the tumor and of the nearby lymph nodes is indicated. I will refer you to an experienced surgeon.

In locally advanced tumors with or without lymph node involvement, a “multimodal therapy” will be required. This means that depending on the histology of the tumor -before an eventual surgical resection- chemotherapy (in case of an adenocarcinoma) or combined radiochemotherapy (in case of a squamous cell carcinoma) must be done.

In case of inoperability or when surgery can not be performed due to other reasons (for example severe comorbidities of the heart or lung), definitive combined radiochemotherapy is the treatment of choice.

In patients with metastases in other organs like the liver or lung, a systemic chemotherapy is being recommended. Besides the established drugs 5-FU and cisplatin, today other modern chemotherapeutic agents are increasingly being used with promising results. Also in this situation I promise that I will try to find and organise the best treatment strategy for you.

What are the costs ?

The costs for diagnosis and treatment at the Medical University in the AKH, in another public hospital or in a private clinic will be payed by your public or a private health insurance. My honorarium will be agreed upon individually, for a first consultation I will charge an amount of 180 Euro. The public health insurance usually refunds up to 80% of the honorarium a physician with a health insurance contract would request for the same treatment. Private insurances usually refund the entire honorarium of the doctor of your choice.