I am a current survivor of Stage IV Esophageal Cancer - EC (3 1/2 years out and 5 years from original diagnosis
). My cancer had spread to a distant lymph node. So, before I was even given the chance to resection surgery, which as I understand the only known cure for EC, the highest probability for long survival. I had to go through both chemo and radiation. In fact, they would not do EC resection without this first procedure. As it was explained to me the mechanism of esophageal cancer and its metastasis is not well understood and statistically they have not seen a high success rate if resection is done without chemo and radiation (I am sure staging is part of the equation) where EC will even sometimes metastasized faster after surgery without. So statistically, there is higher probability of success for longer survival if chemo and radiation are done first. EC resection surgery is very invasive and the recovery can be long – it will zap all your systems.