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Esophageal  Cancer 

The Esophagus is a hollow muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Each time you swallow food or liquid, the esophagus transports it to the digestive system. Get rid of Esophagus Cancer by one of Esophagus Cancer Specialist in South Delhi. 

What is Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal cancer can develop when cells in the soft tissues lining this tube begin to grow and divide abnormally, forming a tumor. Tumors typically start in the innermost layer of the esophagus and then spread outward. The spread of cancer from the esophagus to the lymph nodes and other organs is called metastasis.


What are the types of Esophageal Cancer?

Most esophageal tumors can be classified as one of two types — adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

Adenocarcinoma

Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of esophageal cancer in the United States, accounting for more than 50 percent of all new cases. It starts out in glandular cells, which are not normally present in the lining of the esophagus. These cells can grow there due to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which increases a person’s chance of developing esophageal cancer. Adenocarcinoma occurs mainly at the lower end of the esophagus and the upper part of the stomach, known as the gastroesophageal junction or the GE junction.
Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus occurs most often in middle-aged white men. Since the 1970s, the disease has become more common more rapidly than any other cancer in the United States. Doctors say the rise may be due to an increase in the number of people who develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which contents from the stomach, such as acid, move up into the esophagus repeatedly, causing chronic inflammation.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma


The second most common form of esophageal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer begins when squamous cells, thin flat cells that line the inside of the esophagus, mutate and begin to grow uncontrollably. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is strongly linked with smoking and the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol.


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Esophageal Cancer


Normally, a sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus opens to allow food to enter the stomach and closes to prevent harmful digestive acids from bubbling back up into the esophagus. When this sphincter muscle does not function normally, however, it can lead to a condition known as GERD. Studies have shown that having severe GERD over the course of many years increases the chance of developing gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma.

What are the Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer?

In many cases, esophageal cancer is diagnosed after a person begins to experience symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer include:

  • Difficulty swallowing: As the tumor grows, it can narrow the tube through which food and liquids move to the stomach.
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest: Some people with esophageal cancer feel pressure or a burning sensation.
  • Weight loss and lack of appetite: As swallowing becomes more difficult, many people begin to eat less, leading to involuntary weight loss.
  • Other symptoms: Some patients with esophageal cancer experience other symptoms such as hoarseness, a persistent cough, hiccups, pneumonia, bone pain, and bleeding in the esophagus.

Because many of these symptoms are also associated with other medical conditions, having any of them does not necessarily mean that you have esophageal cancer. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor. The earlier you are evaluated, the better the chance of detecting esophageal cancer at an earlier stage, when treatment can be more effective.

Risk Factors

The following are the most common risk factors for esophageal cancer.

  1. Age:  Esophageal cancer is most often diagnosed in people over age 50.
  2. Tobacco and Use of Alcohol: Use of tobacco in any form can increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer — particularly squamous cell carcinoma. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the greater your risk of esophageal cancer.
  3. Barrett’s Esophagus: Caused by long-term reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus, Barrett’s esophagus increases the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
  4. Race: Squamous cell cancer of the esophagus is more common among blacks than whites. Adenocarcinoma is more common in white men than men of other race
  5. Obesity: Being overweight is a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma.
  6. Vitamin Deficiencies: Some studies have linked esophageal cancer with deficiencies in beta carotene, vitamin E, selenium, or iron.
  7. Gender: Esophageal cancer is more common in men than in women, but the gender gap is narrowing.

Screening

Screening refers to any test that is given to detect disease before it begins to cause symptoms. Screening for esophageal cancer is not recommended for most people. However, your doctor may recommend regular endoscopic screening for adenocarcinoma if you have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus or are at high risk of esophageal cancer for other reasons.

Diagnosis and Treatment at Max Cancer Centre Shalimar Bagh

Dedicated surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, and pathologists work together closely to develop every patient’s treatment plan. We meet regularly to discuss individual patients and the latest advances in treatment.T his team approach is particularly important in the treatment of esophageal cancer because it is often best managed using a multidisciplinary approach. Having representatives of many different disciplines involved in your care ensures that all possible approaches to your treatment will be considered and that your care will be well coordinated and personalized to your specific needs.

Diagnosis and Staging

Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward getting the best cancer care.

  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy

Staging the tumor requires performing one or more possible studies, including:

  • CT scans of the chest and upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • A combined PET/CT scan, which allows doctors to measure and analyze the location of tumors more accurately. This technology can also help track how the tumor responds to treatment as your case progresses.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound, a procedure that uses an endoscope with a small ultrasound probe at its tip. The device can measure how thick the tumor is and see whether it has invaded the wall of the esophagus. The test can also help your doctors to determine whether cancer cells are in the lymph nodes.
  • Bronchoscopy, an endoscopy procedure, to evaluate cancer involvement of the trachea (windpipe) or main bronchi (airways)
  • Interventional radiology or surgical biopsies if suspicious areas are identified outside the esophagus Using results from your staging studies, your doctors will classify cancer into one of four stages. The stage indicates how large the tumor has grown and how widely it has spread in the body.

Treatment Surgery

Surgery is an important part of treatment for many people with esophageal cancer. In the procedure called an esophagectomy, the goal is to remove all of the tumors in order to prevent its regrowth and spread. It is the primary modality of treatment in most cases of esophageal cancer. Surgery is an important part of treatment for many people with esophageal cancer. In the procedure called an esophagectomy, the goal is to remove all of the tumors in order to prevent its regrowth and spread. Studies have shown that cancer centers that perform more surgeries deliver better results for patients, including better survival rates than those with less experience. We have among the lowest rates of complications following esophageal surgery in the country. Our thoracic surgeons are experts in performing complex esophageal surgery, including advanced minimally invasive techniques and robotic surgery. These approaches have been shown to lead to faster recovery after surgery than traditional open surgical approaches. Because surgical oncologists at Max Cancer Centre, Shalimar Bagh work as part of a multidisciplinary team, we are also very careful to recommend surgery only as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that will offer you the best results.
 

When Surgery Is Performed

Whether your doctors recommend surgery as the initial treatment for your esophageal cancer depends on several important factors, including:

  • Whether the cancer is adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma does not always require surgery. It can sometimes be managed with chemotherapy and radiation therapy alone.
  • The size of the tumor.

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