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ESOPHAGEAL CANCER

OVERVIEW

Esophageal Cancer is a malignant tumor of the esophagus, which is the muscular tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach.

Symptoms

Some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain, pressure or burning
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Coughing or hoarseness
  • Worsening indigestion or heartburn

Causes

Though the cause of Esophageal Cancer is not clear, it occurs when cells in esophagus develop mutations in their DNA, which make cells grow and divide out of control. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor.

Following factors can add to the risk of Esophageal Cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Having gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Having bile reflux
  • Being obese
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen
  • Having a steady habit of drinking very hot liquids

Treatments

Surgeries are conducted to remove very small tumors, a portion of the esophagus esophagectomy), and a part of your esophagus and the upper portion of your stomach (esophagogastrectomy). Further, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are employed to kill cancerous cells.

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