Surgical Management of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Simon Law, John Wong

Key Points

  • Patients with squamous cell cancers pose different problems than patients with adenocarcinomas of the esophagus.
  • Staging methods have become more sophisticated, accurate, and refined. This is likely to impact on future treatment strategies.
  • Versatility is required in the choice of surgical procedures.
  • Low mortality rates after esophagectomy can be achieved in specialized centers, and a volume-outcome relationship is evident, although the complication rate remains substantial.
  • Main controversies remain the appropriate extent of lymphadenectomy and the relative roles of multimodality treatment strategies, such as chemoradiotherapy and surgery, in the management of esophageal cancer.
  • Excellent long-term results are obtained in patients with early cancer, although diagnosis at this stage is unlikely except in high-incidence areas such as China, where selected screenings are carried out.

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Last updated: April 6, 2020