Since 1987 we have observed a predominance of adenocarcinoma in patients undergoing esophagectomy because of carcinoma at our institution. To discover whether this observation represented an actual change in the prevalence of adenocarcinoma, the Johns Hopkins Hospital pathology records were reviewed for the years 1959 to 1994. Overall, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was the most common histologic type with 817 cases identified versus 284 cases of adenocarcinoma. The number of patients with squamous cell carcinoma rose slowly from 1959 to 1992 but since 1992 has decreased. Whereas adenocarcinoma was uncommon before 1978, its frequency has since increased markedly, exceeding that of squamous cell carcinoma in 1994. The number of patients with adenocarcinoma who underwent surgical resection has equaled or exceeded the number of those treated nonoperatively for all recorded years. Therefore the predominance of adenocarcinoma in patients undergoing esophageal resection for carcinoma appears to result from two factors: an overall increase in the prevalence of adenocarcinoma since 1978 and an increased likelihood of resection for patients with these tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine