Advanced oesophageal cancer means that a cancer that began in the food pipe (gullet) has spread to another part of the body.
Unfortunately advanced cancer can’t usually be cured. But treatment can control it, relieve symptoms, and give you a good quality of life for a while.
Sometimes cancer is advanced when it is first diagnosed. But sometimes the cancer has come back and spread after treatment for the original cancer.
Cancers that have spread to another part of the body are called:
- secondary cancer
- metastatic cancer
Locally advanced oesophageal cancer
Locally advanced cancer means that the cancer has spread into the tissues around the oesophagus. It hasn’t spread to other organs. This is different to an advanced cancer.
Locally advanced cancers are either stage 2 or stage 3.
How you might feel
Finding out you have an advanced cancer can be a shock. It’s common to feel uncertain and anxious and it’s normal to not be able to think about anything else.
Lots of information and support is available to you and your family and friends. It can help to find out more about your cancer and the treatments you might have. Many people find that knowing more about their situation can make it easier to cope.
Talk to your specialist to understand:
- what your diagnosis means
- what is likely to happen
- what treatment is available
- how treatment can help you