Esophageal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related illness and death throughout the world. Because there is no effective screening or early detection, most patients present with locally advanced or overt metastatic disease. Esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma is the most common histologic type worldwide in high-incidence areas such as East Asia, and adenocarcinoma is the dominant histologic type in the West. A review of surgical outcomes in nearly 84,000 patients with esophageal squamous-cell cancer in 1980 indicated the daunting challenge of treating esophageal cancer.1 Surgical exploration was performed in 58% of the patients, 39% underwent resection (30% died during or soon . . .
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