6 February 2023
Carcinoma of the esophagus, also known as esophageal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. If left untreated, esophageal cancer can be deadly. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can greatly improve a person's chances of survival.
Dr. Sarath Chandra Reddy, Consultant - Radiation Oncology, CARE Hospitals, Hi-Tech City, Hyderabad, says, “Unfortunately, there is no screening protocol for the general population except in individuals with high risk factors that can increase a person's likelihood of developing esophageal cancer, including these”:Tobacco useAlcohol consumptionBarrett's esophagusAcid reflux.
There are several methods for detecting esophageal cancer in its early stages.Endoscopy: An endoscopy involves inserting a long, flexible tube with a camera and light attached into the mouth and down the esophagus.Biopsy: A biopsy involves removing a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. This is the only definitive way to diagnose esophageal cancer.Newer techniques like Capsule endoscopy and Unsedated Transnasal endoscopy are showing much promise.
It is important for individuals to be aware of these risk factors and to talk to their doctor about their individual risk and the best screening options for them. If diagnosed, we should be aware that treatment options have incorporated a lot of technology to make the patients life comfortable.
“For early-stage cancers, use of Endoscopic mucosal resection or Robotic surgery has brought down admission time to a few days. For patients unfit or not willing for surgery, treatment with radiation using the latest techniques like Image guided radiotherapy(IGRT) has brought down the side effects significantly,” says Dr. Reddy.
In conclusion, early detection is key to successful treatment of esophageal cancer. By undergoing regular screenings, making lifestyle changes to reduce risk factors, and being aware of the signs and symptoms, individuals can greatly improve their chances of detecting and treating this disease. Also incorporating latest technologies like EMR, Robotics or radiation techniques like IGRT has made the treatment relatively less stressful for the patients.
Doctor Name: Dr. Sarath Chandra Reddy, Consultant - Radiation Oncology, CARE Hospitals, Hi-Tech City, Hyderabad
Reference Link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/esophageal-cancer-how-to-catch-it-early-and-treat-it-in-time/photostory/97639053.cms?picid=97639073