This guideline covers assessing and managing oesophago-gastric cancer in adults, including radical and palliative treatment and nutritional support. It aims to reduce variation in practice through better organisation of care and support, and improve quality of life and survival by giving advice on the most suitable treatments depending on cancer type, stage and location.
There are around 13,000 new cases of oesophago-gastric cancer diagnosed in England each year. Mortality rates are high, with over 10,000 deaths annually, and over the last 30 years the incidence of these cancers has continued to increase. Early diagnosis remains challenging, and optimising the diagnostic and treatment pathway is essential to improving management and prognosis.
At present there is considerable variation in management and follow-up for people diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancer. Though there have been recent advances in surgical techniques and chemotherapeutic agents, it is not yet clear how well these compare with standard therapy in terms of improving survival and quality of life.