Director, Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology
The Maimonides Cancer Center provides advanced care for patients with esophageal cancer. At Maimonides, you will receive care from an entire dedicated team committed to creating an individualized treatment plan for you. Our highly skilled team includes surgeons, medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurse practitioners and dedicated and compassionate support staff. The group works together to provide you with the best possible outcome.
Esophageal cancer is a malignant tumor of the esophagus, the tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach. There are two main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Esophageal cancer occurs most frequently in men over 50. Esophageal Cancer is more common in other countries than it is in the United States, however due to the multicultural population in Brooklyn, our doctors have extensive experience treating this disease.
If you have a difficulty swallowing solids or liquids, heartburn, backwards moving of food through the esophagus and possibly the mouth, or unexplained weight loss, you should see your primary care physician immediately.
Our diagnostic services offer state-of-the art imaging tools that allow physicians to pinpoint the location of cancer. Our equipment is utilized by recognized experts in their fields. Tests used to help diagnose esophageal cancer may include barium swallow, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and biopsy, chest MRI or thoracic CT/PET scan, and endoscopic ultrasound.
If the cancer has spread to the gastro-esophageal junction, and is still operable, the surgical treatment would be provided by a gastrointestinal surgical oncologist. However, if the cancer has metastasized to other organs, or if the patient cannot tolerate surgery, chemotherapy or radiation may be used to help reduce the symptoms.
Other treatments that may be used to help the patient’s ability to swallow in cases of tumor blockage include endoscopic dilation of the esophagus, which involves the placement of a stent. At Maimonides, every patient receives individualized diagnosis and treatment depending on their condition. The form of treatment is often dictated by the stage of the cancer and its location. When esophageal cancer is localized in the esophagus, surgery by a thoracic surgeon is the recommended course of treatment. In order to remove the cancer, minimally invasive esophagectomy is common. If surgery is necessary, our physicians use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. Minimally invasive approaches reduce hospital stays, as well as your pain and recovery time after the procedure.
At Maimonides, we believe in treating the whole patient, not just the disease. This includes taking care of your well-being. Our entire environment at the cancer center is designed with your comfort in mind, in a patient-friendly atmosphere for you and your family.