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Upper gastrointestinal cancers

Upper gastrointestinal cancers affects the upper part of the digestive system.

Go to the NHS website for more information about:

You can find more information about our services that deal with cancer of the liver and pancreas.

What to expect at your appointment

Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes to two hours. You may have tests and investigations on the same day or at a later date.

You will see a gastroenterology consultant or doctor who will ask you about your symptoms and examine you. They will explain your treatment plan and the investigations you may need.

You may also meet the upper gastrointestinal clinical nurse specialist who will be your key worker during your care. They will explain your test and treatment options and support you and your family.

You will be given written information about the type of cancer you have, your treatment options and other sources of support such as King’s Macmillian Information and Support Centre.

We usually send you appointment letters for tests, investigations or treatments by post.

Tests and investigations

At your first appointment you may have one or more of the following tests at King’s or you may be asked to return at a later date. They help us to find out whether you have cancer and to assess your treatment options. They include:

  • barium swallow meal
  • breath test
  • CT scan
  • endoscopy such as a gastroscopy or OGD, colonoscopy, CT colonoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • PET-CT scan


Your care and treatment depends on the type cancer you have, its size and where it is, how far it has advanced (the stage) and your overall health. The final decision about what treatment you have is yours.

After our team of specialists reviews the results of your tests and investigations, we will arrange an appointment so you can discuss your treatment options with your consultant and clinical nurse specialist.

Your care may include one or more or a combination of treatments. These take place at Guy’s or St Thomas’ Hospital:

  • Surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy

If surgery is not an option, you may be offered one of the following:

  • a combination of oesophageal stent insertion, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • chemotherapy and then radiotherapy
  • a course of chemotherapy
  • a course of radiotherapy.

Who to contact

At your first appointment, we will tell you who your key worker is and how and when you can contact them. Your key worker is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Clinical nurse specialist

Miriam Harley
Tel: +44 (0)20 3299 4158
Email: [email protected]
Available: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Non-clinical support

If you have practical queries or want further information about support groups, contact the Macmillan Centre at King’s.

Our team

Your care will be provided by a group of experts called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals specialising in treating your type of cancer. You can discuss your care with them and ask them any questions you have about your treatment. Our team includes:

Consultant Gastroenterologists

  • Professor Ingvar Bjarnason
  • Dr Guy Chung-Faye
  • Dr Patrick Dubois
  • Dr Ian Forgacs
  • Dr Bu Hayee
  • Dr Robert Logan

Consultant Oncologists

  • Dr Andrew Gaya
  • Dr Paul Ross

These oncology doctors provide treatment at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital.

How we support you

We want to make sure that you get all the assistance you need to live well with – and after – cancer. There’s a wide range of support available to help you cope with cancer, including physical, emotional and practical advice for you, your family, friends and carers.