Esophageal Cancer is a type of cancer which occurs in the Esophagus. The Esophagus is a hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. Its main function is to carry food and liquids from throat to the stomach. Esophageal Cancer is one of the complicated cancer types. Men are more likely to get Esophageal Cancer than women.
Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells which are located inside the Esophagus. This type of Cancer can be occurred anywhere along the esophagus. Esophageal cancer occurs when cells in esophagus develop errors or mutations in their DNA, so that cells start growing rapidly. The accumulation of abnormal cells forms a tumor in the esophagus. Dr Amit Chakraborty is a well experienced and proficient Cancer Surgeon. He has successfully treated lots of mild to severe Esophageal Cancer cases.
Types of Esophageal Cancer:
Esophageal cancer is classified according to the type of cells. The type of esophageal cancer helps to determine treatment options. There are two common types of esophageal cancer:
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: The Squamous cells are flat, thin cells that located on the surface of the esophagus. Squamous Cell Carcinoma mostly occurs in the upper and middle portions of the esophagus. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of esophageal cancer worldwide.
- Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells of mucus-secreting glands in the esophagus. Adenocarcinoma occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus.
- Other rare types: Some rare forms of Esophageal Cancer include small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, melanoma and choriocarcinoma.
Signs and Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer:
Many times patients do not experience symptoms at the early stage. As cancer progresses, patient starts experiencing symptoms like:
- Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
- Weight loss without trying
- Chest pain, pressure or burning
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn
- Coughing or hoarseness
Causes of Esophageal Cancer:
Common causes of Esophageal Cancer include:
- GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease)
- Having precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus)
- Bile reflux
- Difficulty in swallowing (achalasia)
- Habit of drinking very hot liquids
- Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
- Radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen
Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer:
Tests and procedures used to diagnose esophageal cancer include:
- Endoscopy: In this procedure, doctor inserts a flexible tube equipped with video down the throat and into the esophagus. Doctor examines esophagus and areas of irritation with the help of endoscope.
- Biopsy: In biopsy procedure, doctor uses a special scope that passed down the throat and into the esophagus to collect a sample of suspicious tissue. Then tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for further detection of cancer cells.
- Imaging Tests: CT scan, PET scan and MRI tests also used to confirm whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body or not.
- Barium Swallow (X-ray): This is X-ray imaging test that allows doctor to see the lining of esophagus.
Treatment of Esophageal Cancer:
Cancer Surgeon decides most effective treatment option as per the patient’s health condition, types of cells involved and stages. Various treatment options are:
Surgery is performed alone or with the combination of other treatments to remove cancer. Types of surgery include:
1. Surgery to remove very small tumors
If the cancer is a small or at the very first stage and hasn’t spread to other parts, then doctor removes tumor by using a minimally invasive techniques. Doctor performs surgery with the help of endoscope or several small incisions are made to remove tumor.
In this surgery, the affected portion of Esophagus is removed. Generally doctor removes the portion which contains tumor.
During Esophagogastrectomy, surgeon removes the part of esophagus, nearby lymph nodes and a larger part of stomach to avoid further complications.
- Radiation Therapy: In Radiation therapy, high-powered energy beams such as X-rays and Protons are used to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, patient lie on a table while a machine moves around patient and directing radiation precisely on the body. In advanced stage of cancer, radiation therapy is used before or after the surgery to relieve pain. It’s often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery is not an option then Cancer Surgeon performs combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy as a primary treatment.
- Chemotherapy: In Chemotherapy treatment, drugs are used to kill cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is often used after the surgery to kill any cancer cells that remained in the body. It can be used alone or combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be used before the surgery to shrink cancers. In advanced stage of cancer, chemotherapy is used to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Other Cancer treatment options are Radio-surgery, Targeted Drug therapy, Immunotherapy and Palliative Care. Mostly, Esophageal cancer is detected in the advanced stages hence it can only be treated but not cured. Patient’s chances of survival can improve with surgery if the cancer hasn’t spread outside of esophagus.
Today various modern cancer treatments are available not only to control and but also to cure the cancer. Early detection plays an important role in the complete cure or control of Esophageal Cancer. Dr Amit Cancer Care Clinic is a well equipped with advanced medical equipments to treat all types and stages of cancer.
Dr. Amit Chakraborty
Dr. Amit Chakraborty is a Surgical Oncologist in Girgaon, Mumbai and has an experience of 15 years in this field. He is a well known cancer specialist with an expertise in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancer.
Patient Reviews & Feedback
3563+ Happy Patients
- Vandana Sharma
Best Cancer Surgeon. Dr Amit Chakraborty is a very kind, supportive and skillful Cancer Surgeon. He has treated and cured numerous complicated Throat, Neck and Mouth cancer cases successfully.
- Pranit Patil
A special thanks to Dr Amit Chakraborty, Amit Cancer Care, one of the finest Oncosurgeons in India and such a delightful personality! I simply cannot thank him much for his relentless efforts in treating my father. He has a magic in his words while explaining things calmly. He is the one who boosted confidence in the 1st visit itself and everything sounded so easy after in his presence. All the best Dr.Amit for your future endeavors!
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