Screening for Esophageal Cancer

Screening refers to any test that helps detect disease before it begins to cause symptoms.

MSK does not recommend esophageal cancer screening for most people. However, your doctor may recommend regular endoscopic screening for adenocarcinoma if you have Barrett’s esophagus or are at high risk of esophageal cancer for other reasons.

We recommend that patients with Barrett’s esophagus get screened for esophageal cancer every three years. We have a comprehensive screening program in which we evaluate hundreds of people for early, precancerous changes in the esophagus using the latest diagnostic tools and imaging technologies. We also offer long-term monitoring and support for people at risk for esophageal cancer. Learn more about endoscopic screening in our section on diagnosis.

Because patients might not feel any different until esophageal cancer is advanced, screening may help your doctor find the disease earlier, when treatment may work better. We may also be able to find and remove precancerous tissue, which helps keep cancer from developing.