Stage IV Esophageal Cancer is said to be the metastatic cancer state which has spread to various locations of the body near and far. Different factors influence the decision of the patient for receiving cancer treatment. Patients in their Stage Iv Esophageal Cancer might have various purposes of receiving or undergoing treatment for cancer. For some, it might be for enhancing the symptoms via controlling cancer locally, for others it might be a chance for cure or for prolonging the survival of the patient. The potential advantages of getting treated for cancer should be carefully analyzed and balanced along with the potential side effects and risks of getting the treatment for cancer.
Stage IV Esophageal Cancer patients normally would be in the state where the cancer has widespread during diagnostic period and might not be cured using surgery. But the patients in this stage might sometimes like to undergo surgery for enhancing both the quality and quantity of food intake and for lowering the severity of food consumption related symptoms. Hence patients with inoperable Stage IV Esophageal Cancer undergo palliative esophagectomy for relief.
Other treatment options and modalities for Stage IV Esophageal Cancer patients include thermal laser, photodynamic treatment, esophageal dilatation, esophageal prostheses or stents and so on.
Thermal laser coagulated carried out by endoscopy might offer dysphagia relief temporarily. Polypoid cancers which grow inside the esophagus resulting in occlusion can be treated to the optimum using laser ablation. But laser treatment might not be that effective for cancer found in gastroesophageal junction and in upper esophagus.
Photodynamic ablation is found to be effective than thermal laser in patients with esophageal cancer for palliation. It involves injecting a light sensitizer inside a vein that is consumed by the cells. Then the laser is directed on the cancerous cells. The cells with light sensitizer get destroyed.
Esophageal dilatation is performed in patients who have undergone chemotherapy, laser treatment, photodynamic treatment and radiation therapy. The esophagus area affected by cancer get narrowed or constricted that relief is provided by esophageal dilatation and thereby improving the swallowing capacity of the patients temporarily. Flexible dilators are passed using fluoroscopic or endoscopic guidance by the physician via the mouth. Dilators or bougies with increasing diameters are introduced gradually into the esophagus till the swallowing difficulty is reduced.
Esophageal prostheses or stents are nothing but rigid tubes which are kept inside the esophagus for keeping them open. These are normally used in patients with Stage IV Esophageal Cancer and who are in their inoperable stage of esophageal cancer.
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