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June 1991

Esophagography and Esophagoscopy-Reply

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):685. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180121025

In Reply.—I would like to respond to the letter sent to you by Drs Toohill and Grossman, regarding the article on "Esophagography and Esophagoscopy"1 that appeared in the August 1990 issue of the Archives.

The purpose of our study was to determine whether esophagoscopy and esophagography were necessary in patients with primary head and neck cancers. Our results showed that these two examinations are essentially complementary in patients with squamous cell cancers of the head and neck before treatment; esophagography alone is useful in patients in whom esophagoscopy cannot be performed, and, indeed, there were some patients in our study for whom that was certainly true.

The prevalence of simultaneous esophageal cancer is defined as the proportion of patients with head and neck cancer who also have cancer of the esophagus. We found this figure to be 0.7% which is in agreement with that reported by Grossman2 and