Important information

The management of oesophageal cancer can be complex, especially for people who require surgery.

A person with a suspected oesophageal cancer should be referred to an upper gastrointestinal surgeon who is a member of a relevant multidisciplinary team and practices at a specialist centre.

Specialist centres

The management of oesophageal cancer requires a team of health care professionals with experience in oesophageal cancer (including surgery) and the availability of adequate supportive care following surgery.

Even if surgery does not seem likely at the time of referral, early involvement of a multidisciplinary team is recommended to ensure optimal assessment, care, and outcomes.

Specialist centres for oesophageal and gastric cancers surgery are:

Some patients may need to travel out of area to be treated at a specialist centre. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this. For more detailed information about specialist centres, see Optimising cancer care on the Cancer Institute NSW website.


What tests are needed?

Common tests used to diagnose oesophageal cancer include:

  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • endoscopy
  • endoscopic ultrasound
  • imaging - ultrasound, CT scan and/or PET scan
  • laparoscopy.


What treatment options are there?

Treatment for oesophageal cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy.


How common is oesophageal cancer in NSW?

Oesophageal cancer was diagnosed in:

  • 2015
    456 people in NSW
  • 2014
    521 people in NSW
  • 2013
    469 people in NSW
Data source: Cancer statistics NSW portal (sourced from Institute Data Warehouse, Cancer Institute NSW. Available at:

Last updated: 21 february 2019.