Esophageal Cancer

Side Effects

The side effects of esophageal cancer treatment depend on the type of esophageal cancer treatment used and may be different for each person. Doctors and nurses can explain the possible side effects of different esophageal cancer treatments, and suggest ways to help relieve symptoms that may occur during and after treatment.

  • Esophageal Cancer Surgery Side Effects

    Esophageal cancer surgery may cause short-term pain and tenderness in the area of the operation, but this discomfort or pain can be controlled with medicine. Patients are taught special breathing and coughing exercises to keep their lungs clear.

  • Side Effects of Esophageal Cancer Radiation Therapy

    Radiation affects normal as well as cancerous cells. Side effects of radiation therapy for esophageal cancer patients depend mainly on the dose and the part of the body that is treated. Common side effects of radiation therapy to the esophagus are a dry, sore mouth and throat; difficulty swallowing; swelling of the mouth and gums; dental cavities; fatigue; skin changes at the site of treatment; and loss of appetite.

  • Esophageal Cancer Chemotherapy Side Effects

    Chemotherapy, like radiation therapy, affects normal as well as cancerous cells. Side effects of using chemotherapy for esophageal cancer depend largely on the specific drugs and the dose (amount of drug administered). Common side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting, poor appetite, hair loss, skin rash and itching, mouth and lip sores, diarrhea, and fatigue. These side effects generally go away gradually during the recovery periods between treatments or after treatment is over.

  • Esophageal Cancer Laser Therapy Side Effects can cause short-term pain where the treatment was given, but this discomfort can be controlled with medicine.

  • Photodynamic Therapy Side Effects for Esophageal Cancer

    Photodynamic therapy makes the skin and eyes highly sensitive to light for 6 weeks or more after treatment. Other temporary side effects of PDT may include coughing, trouble swallowing, abdominal pain, and painful breathing or shortness of breath.

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