Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help. If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer

Decorative image

Making swallowing easier

Swallowing can be difficult for some people with cancer in the food pipe (oeosphageal cancer). Treatments include stretching your food pipe (oesophageal dilation) or placing a small tube into your oesophagus (a stent). 

You might have these treatments with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Oesophageal stent

An oesophageal stent is a small metal or plastic tube put into the oesophagus to keep it open.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy uses hot beams of light to burn away cancer cells in the oesophagus. 

Heat treatment

Heat treatment burns away the cancer cells. It is also called argon plasma coagulation (APC) 

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) destroys cancer cells by using a combination of a light sensitising drug and a very bright light.

Oesophageal dilatation

The food pipe can be blocked by cancer, or become narrower after treatment. Oesophageal dilatation means stretching the food pipe to open it up again.

Radiotherapy for advanced cancer

Advanced stage means your oesophageal cancer has spread. External and internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) can help to control your cancer and reduce symptoms.

Last reviewed: 
30 Oct 2019

Information and help