The esophagus is the tube through which passes food from the mouth to the stomach, and cancer results when cells in the esophagus begin growing uncontrollably. If you have esophageal cancer, laser treatment is one of options available to you.
1. Traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can damage healthy cells in your esophagus and cause debilitating side effects. In comparison, laser treatments are more precise, and their side effects are milder.
2. Laser treatment shrinks cancerous tumors or eliminates them entirely. It also helps eliminate the side effects of esophageal cancer, such as difficulty swallowing.
3. There are two main laser treatments for esophageal cancer: laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT). LITT uses optical fibers to administer lasers inside your body, and PDT involves injections with photosensitizing chemicals, which help doctors identify and zap cancer cells.
4. Side effects of laser treatment include bleeding, scarring, swelling and pain or discomfort in the esophagus.
5. Laser treatment, thought not without its advantages, is pricey and involves bulky medical equipment. In addition, its effects are short-lived, so you’ll need repeated visits to a doctor with specialized training.
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