Specialist Cancer Service
In order to improve the outcome for patients with oesophageal and stomach cancer, treatment services in West Yorkshire (for patients from Leeds, York, Harrogate and Mid Yorkshire) have been centralised in Leeds. This is now the third largest unit in the UK performing 100-120 major operations per year.
Leeds has a good record for safety and long term survival for patients with these diseases and has received complimentary feedback from the recent National Patient Experience Survey. If you have been diagnosed or treated for oesophageal or gastric cancer you can contact the Oesophageal Patients Association for support http://www.opa.org.uk/.
Leeds Specialist Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)
The Leeds Specialist Oesophagogastric Multidisciplinary Team is a group of experts who meet weekly (Tuesday morning) to discuss and form management plans for patients with oesophageal and stomach cancer. In addition we provide second opinions for patients diagnosed from outside West Yorkshire.
He will attend the specialist MDT meeting and discuss your diagnosis and management with a group of experts and recommend treatment options. Clinical Nurse Specialists Sharon Huntley, Vince Barlow and Lynda Castle are available to provide practical and psychological support through the treatment pathway.
Oesophageal Cancer Surgery
This is a major operation for the treatment of cancer of the oesophagus. Patients undergoing this surgery often require chemotherapy (anticancer drug treatment) beforehand. Occasionally this is given after surgery or not at all. Surgery is usually performed by traditional ‘open’ methods involving an incision on the chest wall and upper abdomen.
Increasingly surgeons are attempting this operation by key-hole approaches. This is currently at the developmental stage. There are significant risks associated with oesophagectomy (removal of the oesophagus) which require careful discussion. This operation usually causes a reduction in quality of life afterwards that may take up to a year to recover from. A Specialist MDT is available to support a patient through this treatment.
Stomach Cancer Surgery
This is a major operation for the treatment of cancer of the stomach. Either whole or part of the stomach may be removed. The operation is usually performed by an open approach through an upper abdominal incision.
As with oesophagectomy, this is increasingly being performed by key hole surgery. The benefits of this approach have yet to be determined. Patients often receive chemotherapy either before or following their operation.
Patients usually require regular supplementation (vitamin B12 injections) afterwards. A combination of treatments improves the outcome for some groups of patients. As with oesophagectomy, quality of life is affected by this major operation and may take many months to recover. A Specialist MDT is available to support a patient through this treatment.