About Esophageal Cancer: Esophageal cancer is also being known as Cancer of The Esophagus. As the name suggests esophageal cancer develops in the esophagus. Esophagus is a long tube, which connects mouth and stomach. It is a 9 11 inches in length in adults.
Esophageal cancer is far more common in men than women. Men’s chances of developing it are about 4 times more often than that of women. This type of cancer is 50% more common in African Americans than Caucasians. It is estimated that approximately 14000 people have died of Esophageal cancer in 2006.
Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer:Very few patients with esophageal cancer experience any symptoms until the disease has developed to advanced stages. Therefore diagnosis and early detection is also difficult.
Common esophageal cancer symptoms however include experiencing difficulty swallowing, cough that would not go away in spite of taking medicines and that it keeps coming back, hoarseness in voice, and weight loss. Some more symptoms include heartburn, a feeling that food is stuck in throat or chest, hiccups with pain or difficulty in swallowing. Hiccups like cough would persist and won’t go away with time and medication.
Researches regarding risk factors are esophageal cancer is underway. The main risk factors identified so far for esophageal cancer includes smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity, and diet. Drinking Lye – children and toddlers accidentally ingest this common household drain cleaner.
People who ingest the chemical find that sometimes 40 years later they have developed esophageal cancer and it can be linked to lye ingestion. Having GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) also increases the risk of getting esophageal cancer. Age factor is also an important consideration. More than half of people who develop esophageal cancer are past 70. Conditions such as achalasia and tylosis increase the risk for esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer is treated with the help of treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Treatment. The treatment and type of treatment depends upon the stage of cancer. Under surgical procedure the part of the esophagus that is affected is removed. This is an intricate and critical surgery that comes with many risks.
Another type of treatment, that is chemotherapy does not usually cure esophageal cancer unless used in conjunction with radiation therapy and/or surgery.
Esophageal cancer is a very serious disease. It is in majority of cases detected in late stages. This brings down the treatment options available. As a result prognosis greatly differs depending on the stage of the disease.