Esophageal Cancer in the Elderly

  • Philip A. Rascoe
  • John C. Kucharczuk
  • Larry R. Kaiser


Neoplasms of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction are aggressive tumors that often present at an advanced stage and that historically have been associated with poor survival despite therapy. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data from the National Cancer Institute estimate that 16,470 Americans are diagnosed with and 14,280 die of esophageal cancer annually. Moreover, the incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing, with an annual percentage change of +0.5% between 1975 and 2005. SEER data also demonstrate that esophageal cancer is primarily a disease of the elderly. From 2001 to 2005, the median age at diagnosis for cancer of the esophagus was 69 years, with 61.5% of those diagnosed being age 65 or older (Fig. 60.1) [1]. According to US Census Bureau projections, we can expect our population to be older by midcentury. In 2000, 12% of the population was 65 or older. In 2030, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 or older, this age group will represent 20% of the US population. This age group is projected to increase to 88.5 million in 2050, more than doubling the number in 2008 (38.7 million) [2].


Esophageal Cancer Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Transhiatal Approach Thoracoabdominal Approach Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip A. Rascoe
    • 1
  • John C. Kucharczuk
  • Larry R. Kaiser
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic SurgeryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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