In This Section      

Esophageal Cancer

At Johns Hopkins, we treat more esophageal cancer patients than any other local medical center through our Esophageal Cancer Program. Our researchers are covering new ground in the treatment of all types of cancer, including esophageal cancer. The staff at Johns Hopkins are experts, in many cases nationally and internationally known, in esophageal cancer and how to treat it.

Esophageal Cancer Experts

The world's leading experts in esophageal cancer come together in the Johns Hopkins Esophageal Cancer Program to form a multidisciplinary team of experts offering the latest treatments and innovative clinical trials.

About Esophageal Cancer

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins is setting standards for the treatment of esophageal cancer with a combined approach of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Although esophageal cancers make up a small percentage of all cancers diagnosed annually, one form -- esophageal adenocarcinoma -- is increasing at a faster annual rate than any other cancer. It is diagnosed most frequently in an advanced state. Our physicians have been working together for the past several years to develop new and more effective treatments for patients with all stages of this disease. Each patient is evaluated by a team of professionals consisting of a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, thoracic surgeon, gastroenterologist, nutritionist and research nurse. At Johns Hopkins, we have a multidisciplinary team that works together to treat patients in our Esophageal Cancer Program.

Risk Factors

Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and Barrett's esophagus can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer risk is higher in the elderly, in males, and in African-Americans. Learn more about screening and prevention.

Diagnostic Tests

Modern technologies are used to stage each patient's cancer and to determine the molecular genetic characteristics of the cancer. These findings help guide treatment recommendations.

Cancer Symptoms

Please consult a physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • painful or difficulty swallowing
  • significant weight loss
  • pain behind the breastbone
  • hoarseness and cough
  • indigesion and heartburn

Current Treatments

Current therapies including chemotherapy and radiation followed by surgery appear to be improving cure rates and survival. A network of patients who have already been through these treatments provides support and counseling to new patients. Patients from around the world now come to Johns Hopkins for esophageal cancer treatment.


Patients seeking appointments with esophageal cancer experts at Johns Hopkins should contact the Esophageal Cancer Program at 410-933-5420.