Skip to content
Contact About us Swedish residents

Esophageal Cancer

Karolinska performs more esophageal cancer surgeries than any other hospital in Sweden.

Cancer of the esophagus (the tube connecting the throat to the stomach) affects more men than women and has an overall poor prognosis. Esophageal cancer can be difficult to diagnose; approximately 50% of patients detect the tumor before it has spread to other parts of the body. Smoking,  alcohol abuse, and obesity are risk factors for esophageal cancer. 

Symptoms of esophageal cancer can be pain or difficulties swallowing food, weight loss, hoarseness, or coughing.

Esophageal cancer is diagnosed via a gastroscopy, often followed by a PET-CT scan and sometimes ultrasound to determine the tumor stage. Karolinska University Hospital offers world-class cancer care to ensure the best possible chance for survival for esophageal cancer patients.

Early-stage tumors are treated endoscopically with local resection using a gastroscope. Locally advanced cancer is often treated with a combination of oncological and surgical treatments. Oncological treatment can include chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Immunotherapy is sometimes recommended based on the tumor's molecular characteristics and stage.  
With about 50-60 surgeries each year, Karolinska performs more esophageal cancer surgeries than any other hospital in Sweden. We were the first center in the country to perform minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery for esophageal cancer. Approximately 90% of all esophageal surgery is performed with minimally invasive techniques.    
Every patient receives an individualized treatment plan after a multimodal treatment conference based on tumor stage, health condition, and personal preference. At Karolinska, we offer world-class individualized cancer care.


Gastroenterology includes both upper abdominal surgery and lower abdominal surgery Gastroenterology
Request medical treatment
More information on who can request a medical second opinion or treatment at Karolinska.
Read more
Bringing together cutting-edge research and world-leading expertise