What is esophageal cancer?
The esophagus or food pipe is a muscular tube between the mouth and stomach. It is about 25 cm to 35 cm (10 to 14 inches) long in an average adult and about 2 cm (3-4 inch) wide.
What are risk factors for esophageal cancer?
|smoking and chewing tobacco||Smoking and chewing tobacco is the major risk factor for lung cancer.|
|irritating foods or drinking very hot liquids||consuming highly irritating foods or drinking very hot liquids - this likely causes injury to the mucosal tissue in the esophagus|
|Certain medical conditions can have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.||• Achalasia,
• gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),
• Plummer-Vinson syndrome and Barretts esophagus.
What are the symptoms?
Painful or difficulty swallowing, Weight loss, Pain behind the breastbone, Hoarseness, cough, Indigestion and heartburn.
How to diagnose this disease ?
|Physical examination and history||An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease.|
|Chest x-ray||An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.|
|Esophagoscopy||A procedure to look inside the esophagus to check for abnormal areas. An esophagoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing.|
|Biopsy||The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. The biopsy is usually done during an esophagoscopy.|
The treatment of esophageal cancer depends on the stage of the illness or the progression of the disease., the options for treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of the three.