He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Esophageal cancer?
- What causes Esophageal cancer?
- What are the Symptoms of Esophageal cancer?
- How is Esophageal cancer Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Esophageal cancer?
- What is the Treatment for Esophageal cancer?
What is Esophageal Cancer?
Cancer cell development in the esophagus is termed esophageal cancer. An esophagus is a long tube that functions as a passage through which food goes into the stomach. This cancer can begin anywhere along the esophagus, although the most common region is the esophageal lining. It is the sixth most common reason for death worldwide.
What Causes Esophageal Cancer?
The exact etiology of esophageal cancer is not very clear.
Esophageal cancer develops when the DNA of cells in the esophagus changes (mutates). As a result, cells expand and divide out of control. The abnormal cells build up in the esophagus, forming a tumour that can infect neighbouring tissues and spread to other regions of the body. It is believed that chronic irritation of the esophagus might lead to changes in cellular DNA.
The Factors that can cause such irritation include:
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Alcohol consumption
- Biliary reflux
- Radiation treatment
- esophageal sphincter problems (achalasia)
- Drinking excessively hot drinks on a regular basis
- Consumption of insufficient fruits and vegetables
What are the Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer?
Initially, there can be very few or no symptoms at all. If any, they can include:
- Swallowing difficulty or discomfort
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain behind the breastbone in the chest
- Persistent Coughing
- Hoarseness in voice
- Heartburn and indigestion
How is Esophageal Cancer Diagnosed?
Tests and procedures include:
- X-Ray with Barium swallow: Barium solution is ingested to coat the lining of the esophagus to present any changes.
- Endoscopy: A flexible, lighted tube is inserted through the mouth to view the gastrointestinal tract.
- Biopsy: A small piece of the suspicious tissue is taken to study under the microscope to view the cellular changes, if any. It can be done along with endoscopy.
If the presence of cancer is confirmed, the extent of metastasis can be determined by the following tests:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
What are the Complications of Esophageal Cancer?
As esophageal cancer progresses, it can lead to issues like:
- Esophageal obstruction: It becomes difficult for food and fluids to flow through the esophagus if you have cancer.
- Severe pain: Esophageal cancer in its advanced stages can be painful.
- Bleeding: Esophageal cancer can result in gastrointestinal bleeding, which can be life-threatening.
What is the Treatment for Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal cancer treatment, like many malignancies, is more likely to be successful if found early. Unfortunately, esophageal cancer is generally already advanced by the time it is detected due to the lack of symptoms and can spread throughout the esophagus and beyond. Many factors influence esophageal cancer treatment, including the disease’s stage and the patient’s general condition.
- Radiation treatment
- Targeted therapy
- Photodynamic treatment