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Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal Cancer Treatment At CARE Hospitals In India 

Esophageal cancer is a cancer type that occurs in the esophagus (food pipe). Our food pipe is a long, hollow, and narrow tube. It connects the throat to the stomach. The food is processed in the stomach and is delivered via the pipe from the throat.

Esophageal cancer can occur in the lining of the esophageal cells. It can multiply at any site in the esophagus. Food pipe cancer affects men more than women.

Esophageal carcinoma is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Infections can differ from place to place. Tobacco, alcohol use, specific food habits, and obesity, may be linked to esophageal cancer in specific regions. The best suitable treatment is provided at CARE Hospitals in India.

Symptoms

There are a lot of symptoms and signs associated with esophageal cancer. The following signs are-

  • Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia

  • Weight loss without trying

  • Chest pain

  • Chest pressure

  • Chest burning

  • Worsening indigestion

  • Heartburn

  • Coughing 

  • Hoarseness

The nature of symptoms may vary from individual to individual. It can be due to age, prior health conditions, genetics, and lifestyle.

Risks

Chronic conditions like irritation of esophagus can increase esophageal cancer. There are factors that can cause irritation and increase the risk of the cancer-like-

  • Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Smoking

  • Having precancerous changes

  • Barrett’s Condition

  • Being obese

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Having bile reflux

  • Having difficulty swallowing 

  • Having a habit of drinking extremely hot beverages.

  • Not eating enough fibre like fruits and vegetables

  • Getting radiation treatment

There are other complications related with esophageal cancer such as-

  • Food obstructions- your food and liquid may be stuck.

  • Pain

  • Bleeding- can be sudden or severe.

Diagnosis 

There are various tests and procedures to diagnose esophageal cancer. Before the tests, the doctor will ask you about the medical history along with the physical examinations.

The tests include-

  • Barium Swallow Study- one is required to swallow a liquid that has barium. X-rays are conducted to know the changes in the tissues after the barium layering of the esophagus.

  • Endoscopy- It is used to examine the esophagus under the scope. A flexible tube is inserted with a video lens in the throat that will examine the food pipe. It will analyse the areas of cancer-irritated sites. 

  • Biopsy- The testing is done on a tissue sample with the help of a proper scope to collect the suspicious or irritated tissue. Laboratory tests further confirm cancer cells.

A confirmatory diagnosis is further conducted to know the extent of cancer. It will help doctors to know the extent of the spread. Tests include-

  • Bronchoscopy

  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

  • Computerised tomography (CT)

  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

These tests would help the medical professional to allocate the stage of cancer- these are represented in Roman numerals from 0 to IV. The IV is in an advanced stage and is said to have spread to the body. The treatments are given according to the cancer stage diagnosed.

Treatment 

Treatment depends on-

  • Type of cancer cells

  • Cancer’s stage

  • Health

  • Preferences 

There are 3 major treatments given to cancer patients at CARE Hospitals- Surgery, Radiation Therapy, and Chemotherapy.

Surgery

The following are the types of surgeries involved in the treatment of esophageal cancer-

  • Removal of small tumours- The margin of healthy tissue along with the small affected section of cancer can be removed in this surgery. It can be done using endoscopy to track the status of the area affected.

  • Removal of a portion of esophagus- This is also known as esophagectomy. The affected portion is removed along with the stomach’s upper part. The surrounding lymph nodes are also removed. Surgeons pull the stomach to connect the remaining esophagus to it. 

  • Removal of the upper portion of the stomach and esophagus- a larger part of the stomach along with the lymph nodes and esophagus is removed in this process. A colon might be used to join the remaining stomach with the esophagus.

Chemotherapy 

  • It is defined as the drug treatment against cancer.

  • The drugs are mainly used before the surgery; being called neoadjuvant. They can also be used after being called adjuvant. 

  • Radiation therapy can also be used in combination.

  • It can help to relieve signs and symptoms of even advanced cancer.

  • Side effects will depend upon the type of drug used in the therapy.

Radiation therapy 

  • It uses high energy beams like X-rays and protons. These kill the cancer cells directly.

  • It is also called external beam radiation- a machine is placed outside the body and is directed towards cancer.

  • It can also be placed inside the body called brachytherapy. 

  • It can be combined with chemo.

  • Usually used before surgery.

  • It can relieve advanced esophageal cancer symptoms. 

  • Side effects include- skin reactions, painful swallowing, which can damage the nearby organs like the lungs and heart. 

Why choose CARE Hospitals?

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, at CARE Hospitals we aim to provide proper treatment against cancers. Esophageal cancer is common and may affect a person unknowingly. With our extensive and comprehensive approach towards human welfare and wellness, we provide proper diagnosis against cancers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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