Background: Esophageal cancer is frequently associated with head and neck cancer, and esophagectomy is usually difficult in such a case. The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinical significance of esophagectomy for patients with esophageal cancer associated either synchronously or metachronously with head and neck cancer. Methods: The clinical outcomes of surgical resections for esophageal cancer were compared between 26 patients with head and neck cancer (double cancer group) and 176 without head and neck cancer (control group). Results: Staged operations were performed in 5 patients in the double cancer group, while microvascular anastomosis as well as a muscle flap was added for 3 and 4 patients, respectively. The mortality and morbidity of the double cancer group were 0 and 35 %, respectively, which were not significantly different from those of the control group (3 and 31 %, respectively). There were no significant differences in overall survival in the double cancer and control groups, which had 5-year survival rates of 59 and 49 %, respectively. Conclusions: Esophagectomy can be an effective treatment when techniques are adopted that are appropriate for each case, such as staged operations, muscular flaps, and microvascular anastomosis, even in patients with double cancers of the esophagus and the head and neck.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes