New form of oesophageal cancer treatment 'just as effective'

A less invasive form of oesophageal cancer treatment has been found to be effective if the illness is caught in the early stages, according to new research.

A study, led by Dr Ganapathy Prasad at the Mayo Clinic, compared the results of performing endoscopic therapy with the surgical removal of the oesophagus in 178 people who underwent treatment for early-stage oesophageal cancer.

The results of the report at the facility, which treated 526,000 patients in 2008, showed there was no real difference in mortality rates.

"Our results showed the less invasive therapy was just as effective as surgery for early-stage cancers," Dr Prasad concluded.

It was pointed out in the report, published in the Gastroenterology journal, that 12 per cent of patients treated endoscopically did have recurrences of the cancer, but that this too could be treated in the same way.

Dr Prasad claimed that 20 per cent of people who develop oesophageal cancer in the United States are diagnosed in the early stages of the illness and so would be able to have the treatment.

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