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Less-Invasive Surgery for Esophageal Cancer Might Be Safer
Date:4/30/2012

ays, and better quality of life (much less pain and vocal-cord paralysis).

Importantly, minimally invasive surgery was as effective as open surgery, the study authors concluded in the report published online April 30 in The Lancet.

"If these results can be confirmed in other settings, minimally invasive esophagectomy could truly become the standard of care," Simon Law, of the University of Hong Kong, China, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

For his part, Aviv also believes that the study "underscores the need for continued early screening of patients with symptoms suggestive of esophageal cancer -- cough and hoarseness, likely even more important than 'typical' gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation."

Aviv, who is also clinical professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, added that "esophageal cancer both in western Europe and here in the USA is the only cancer that is markedly increasing in incidence the past 30 years."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about esophageal cancer.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Jonathan E. Aviv, M.D., F.A.C.S., clinical director, Voice and Swallowing Center ENT and Allergy Associates, and clinical professor, otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; The Lancet, news release, April 30, 2012


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