In 2023, approximately 21,560 Americans (17,030 men and 4,530 women) will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Another 26,500 men and women will be diagnosed with stomach cancer. Additionally, 64,050 Americans (33,130 men and 30,920 women) will learn they have pancreatic cancer.
Risk factors vary for each site and may include age, gender, family history, diet, activity level, alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Talk to your doctor about understanding your risk factors.
Screening is not generally recommended for these types of cancers. However, individuals with a history of Barrett’s esophagus may have endoscopic exams with biopsies for screening.
Radiation Therapy for Upper GI Cancers Brochure
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View the Ask a Radiation Oncologist about Upper GI Cancers Video
WHAT TO EXPECT
Once a cancer diagnosis is made, you will likely talk with your primary care physician along with several cancer specialists to discuss what happens before, during and after treatment.
Cancer specialists regularly conduct studies to test new treatments. These studies are called clinical trials. Clinical trials are available through cancer doctors everywhere — not just in major cities, university centers or in large hospitals.
Most of the side effects of radiation therapy are limited to the area being treated. Short-term side effects are related to injury to normal rapidly dividing cells. They are usually temporary, mild and treatable.