Esophagus Cancer (PDF)

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					Esophagus Cancer: A Devastating Disease In The
Esophagus
By Shazer Matiga Dacia


Cancer is often considered as one of the debilitating diseases across the globe. It's so
unfortunate that cancer cells can attack almost every healthy cell inside the body. There are
different cancers discovered by science that needs to be treated immediately. One of these
cancers is esophageal cancer. This disease usually occurs in the esophagus, which is a long,
hollow tube that carries the swallowed food in the stomach to be digested. Esophagus cancer
often begins in the healthy cells that line within the esophagus. This disease can occur
anywhere within the esophagus. Oftentimes, the cancer is often found in the lower portion of the
esophagus. Statistically, more men acquire cancer than women. Esophageal cancer is more
common in Asian countries and other parts of the Africa. Common signs and symptoms of
cancer include fatigue, weight loss, chest pain, pressure or burning sensation in the chest,
difficulty in swallowing, fatigue, indigestion, coughing episodes, and frequent choking during
meals.

Grounds for developing esophageal cancer

The cause of cancer is still unknown. Esophageal cancer may occur when healthy cells in the
esophagus generate errors or mutations in their DNA. These errors can make the cells grow
and divide uncontrollably. The accumulated abnormal cells will form a tumor in the esophagus
that can develop to attack nearby structures and multiply to other parts of the body. Esophagus
cancer is categorized according to the type of cells involved. These types include squamous cell
carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and among others.

Adenocarcinoma starts to develop in the cells of mucus-secreting glands found in the
esophagus. They often occur in the lower portion of the esophagus. This type is the most
common form in the United States, and it often affects white men.

Squamous cell carcinomas are flat, thin abnormal cells that contour the middle surface of the
esophagus. This type is the most common cancer across the globe.

Other rare forms of cancer include lymphoma, choriocarcinoma, melanoma, and sarcoma.

Diagnostic Examinations
There are series of tests to perform in diagnosing esophagus cancer. Some of these tests
include endoscopy, x-rays and biopsy. During an endoscopy, the doctor will place a hollow tube
with a lens down on the throat reaching the esophagus. The doctor will examine the esophagus
and look for areas of irritation. The x-ray of the esophagus, sometimes called barium swallow, is
an upper gastrointestinal series done to examine the esophagus. The patient is required to drink
a thick liquid that will coat the lining of the esophagus. Then, an x-ray is performed to visualize
the lining. The last resort is through biopsy, wherein a special scope will pass the throat into the
esophagus and collect a sample of suspicious tissue. Once the patient is diagnosed with
esophageal cancer, the doctor will determine the extent of the cancer. The examinations used in
staging esophagus cancer include computerized tomography and positron emission
tomography.

Treatment Modalities for Esophageal cancer

The treatment options for esophagus cancer will depend on the type of cells involved, the
cancer's stage, the overall health status of a person, and the patient's choice of treatment. One
of the most used treatments is surgery. When the cancer is too small and is confined only on
the superficial layers of the esophagus, the surgeon may recommend removing the cancer and
the margin of the healthy tissue surrounding it. Another type of surgery is the removal of a
portion of the esophagus that encloses the tumor and the surrounding lymph nodes, while the
remaining part of the esophagus is reconnected to the stomach. The surgery may carry a risk of
developing serious conditions, such as bleeding, infection, and leakage from the area of
operation.

Lifestyle Changes and Remedies

Some of the common symptoms of esophagus cancer include difficulty swallowing, poor
appetite, weight loss and weakness. These signs and symptoms may be treated with different
cancer management and through diet modifications. Consult the physician for a referral to a
nutritionist and dietitian, as they can help find solutions when dealing with the symptoms of
esophageal cancer. In the meantime, patients may try eating easy to swallow foods. Also, they
are reminded to eat smaller meals more frequently, and maintain nourishing snacks within
reach. Lastly, consult the physician about taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

Shazer Matiga Dacia is a long term article writer.

				
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posted:9/14/2011
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