Esophagus Cancer

Esophagus is the food pipe which serves the purpose of carrying food from mouth to stomach and its cancer is 6th most common cancer worldwide. Usually occurs in elderly patients. Symptoms often include difficulty in swallowing (dysphasia) and weight loss. Other symptoms may include pain when swallowing (retro sternal pain), a hoarse voice, enlarged lymph nodes (glands) around the collarbone, a dry cough, and possibly coughing up or vomiting blood.

The most common causes are: tobacco, alcohol, very hot drinks, poor nutrition and hyperacidity (acid reflux). The disease is diagnosed by biopsy done by an endoscope (a fiber optic camera). However CECT chest and abdomen is important to plan the treatment. Treatment is based on the cancer's stage and location, together with the person's general condition and individual preferences. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment in patients with operable disease. Small localized squamous-cell cancers may be treated with surgery alone with the hope of a cure. In most other cases, chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy is used along with surgery. Larger tumors may have their growth slowed with chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by surgery. Usually surgical procedure needs complete removal of esophagus along with all nodes related to disease and replacement of esophagus by stomach In the presence of extensive disease or if the affected person is not fit enough to undergo surgery, palliative care is often recommend.