The role of stents in the palliation of oesophageal cancer

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Abstract

Oesophageal cancer is the 13th most common cancer in the UK and very few patients are suitable for radical treatment. Almost all of the remaining patients suitable for palliative treatment only have some degree of dysphagia requiring treatment. Self-expanding metal stents are currently the most common means of improving swallowing. This review discusses when we should stent patients, what type of stent we should use and how it can be carried out as well as illustrating the problems that can occur immediately after stent insertion and longer term problems.

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