This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Prognosis of oesophageal cancer

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The prognosis for oesophageal carcinoma is dependent on the site of the tumour. Approximate 5-year survival figures are:

  • upper third tumours have a 20% 5-year survival
  • middle third tumours have a 6% 5-year survival
  • lower third tumours have a 15% 5-year survival

The prognosis also depends on:

  • tumour size and site
  • depth of invasion
  • node metastases
  • widespread metastases
  • tumour grade
  • lymphocytic response
  • general health of the patient

Population based cohort studies have reported a minor improvement of the overall prognosis in oesophageal cancer patients during the past 20 years (1)

  • in the USA overall 5-year survival rate for patients with oesophageal adenocarcinoma is slightly higher (17%) than in squamous cell carcinoma (2)
  • in England and Wales
    • more than a tenth (12%) of people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11)
    • 3 in 20 (15%) of people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11)
    • more than 4 in 10 (42%) people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11)
    • oesophageal cancer survival is higher in men than women at one-year, but similar at five- and ten-years
      • oesophageal cancer survival falls only slightly beyond five years after diagnosis, which means most patients can be considered cured after five years
        • 12% of men and 13% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with oesophageal cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales
        • out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for oesophageal cancer ranks 3rd lowest overall.
    • almost a fifth of men and more than a quarter of women in England diagnosed with oesophageal cancer aged 50-59 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013). Oesophageal cancer survival is improving and has tripled in the last 40 years in the UK
    • in the 1970s, less than 5 in 100 people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's more than a tenth



Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.