This form of cancer afflicts the long hollow tube that connects the mouth with the stomach. This tube is known as the oesophagus which helps in carriage of food from the mouth to the digestive system. This cancer usually starts in the cells that can be found in the lining of this tube with the symptoms ranging from dysphagia or swallowing difficulties to hoarse coughing.
HOW IS ESOPHAGEAL CANCER DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis will be done by the gastroenterologist who will conduct an endoscopy to study the tube with the insertion of a scope. Also, the doctor will collect sample tissue that will be studied in a biopsy. Imaging tests and lab tests will also be required for diagnosis.
HOW IS ESOPHAGEAL CANCER TREATED?
Treatment of this cancer is individually based on the patient's health and cancer stage, the options vary from surgery. Surgery for this cancer may involve part or the entire esophagus, other structures part of the stomach, lymph nodes or other parts of affected organs may be removed. Radiation therapy uses high energy rays focused to kill cancer cells, it is often used together with chemotherapy which uses drugs to destroy cancer cells, it is often used together with radiation and/or surgery and often requires cycles or repeated doses of drugs.
DID YOU KNOW?
A combination of chemotherapy and radiation will also be required for treatment.