Other malignancies

Topic Completed: 1 November 2013

Minor changes: 13 September 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Esophagus[TI] metastases[TI]

Elliot Weisenberg, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 247
Page views in 2020 to date: 132
Cite this page: Weisenberg E. Metastases. website. Accessed July 8th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • WHO definition: tumors of esophagus that originate from an extra-esophageal neoplasm or that are discontinuous with a primary tumor elsewhere in the esophagus
  • Direct spread from lung, stomach, pharynx, larynx, thyroid or mediastinal lymph nodes containing tumor is more common
  • Most common are breast and lung
  • Melanoma is the next most common affecting 4% of patients, although primary esophageal melanoma must be excluded
  • Thyroid, cervix, ovary, prostate, kidney and endometrium have also been reported
  • Esophagus is most common GI site of lung metastasis
  • Most common site is middle third of esophagus
  • May spread via lymphatics or hematogenously
  • Lymphatic spread is most commonly associated with breast and lung tumors
Clinical features
  • Endoscopic biopsy often performed
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Perforation at gastroesophageal junction

Thickening of esophageal wall

Prognostic factors
  • Most patients have a poor prognosis but tumors that are amenable to systemic or radiation therapy may have better outcomes
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Mucosa appears normal at stricture

Gross description
  • Typically form submucosal nodules
  • Less commonly large, obstructive lesions
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Breast metastasis

Images hosted on other servers:

Breast: lobular carcinoma (ER+)

Differential diagnosis
  • Direct spread of adjacent malignancy
  • Primary esophageal malignancy
Additional references
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