ABOUT Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
What Is Esophageal Cancer?
The esophagus is the tube that carries food to your stomach. If it does not open properly, food may become trapped in this tube and cause serious problems with the body. Eating or breathing can be difficult for people with esophageal cancer because it blocks their airway making them short of breath.
This disease may also cause problems where food comes up from their throat instead of down into their stomach causing many other symptoms that are hard to tell apart from much more dangerous diseases like cancer or pneumonia.
There have always been treatments to help people with this condition, but because it is rare, not much research has been done on why there are so few opportunities for these treatments.
Esophageal Cancer is usually found in two places: the upper third of the esophagus or at the junction where it meets with your stomach. The most common symptom of this disease is difficulty swallowing.
This means that food or liquid may go into the trachea, but it can cause problems when patients are eating solid food with too much liquid, coughing, sore throat, lack of appetite, and pain in their neck or chest. Esophageal Cancer is dangerous because it can also cause complications with the spine, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and neck.
The 2 most important factors to consider for this particular disease are that patients must be 50 years of age or older and they should have some kind of issue that relates to heavy alcohol consumption.
The first symptom usually shows up on x-ray images as a mass on the esophagus. This mass may continue to grow over time until there is extreme pressure pushing on the surrounding neck tissues causing difficulty swallowing.
Another sign of esophageal cancer is having difficulty breathing or new trouble with your voice coming out hoarse sounding or raspy like your old smoker uncle.
Most patients that have this condition will need some kind of surgery to remove the mass and reattach the esophagus. Depending on their age and other health conditions they may be started on a chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy regimen to fight this disease.
The treatment for Esophageal Cancer is not very common so doctors usually do not give it much thought until they discover an abnormality in their x-ray images or feel something during an examination.
Esophageal Cancer Symptoms: Difficulty swallowing, difficulties breathing, Tiredness, sore throat, neck pain, weight loss, severe pain in stomach/abdomen, Nausea, or vomiting.
Esophageal Cancer Causes: Most cancers are caused by damage to healthy cells caused by our environments like smoking, burning, drinking, or eating regular meals that are high in fat or certain chemicals.
Since the esophagus is on the way food takes to our stomach many diseases can be transferred to it including heartburn, acid reflux, and even stomach ulcers.
Esophageal Cancer Treatment: Surgery to remove the mass and reattach esophagus. Sometimes chemotherapy and radiation therapy are needed.
Esophageal Cancer Prevention: First of all reduce your alcohol consumption if you drink more than two drinks per day especially if you smoke, eat too much red meat, or let yourself get stressed out easily.
Frequently Asked Questions On Esophageal Cancer
Why Do I Need To Lose Weight Now?
This is now considered to be early-stage cancer. The more weight that you gain the greater the chance of developing this disease at a younger age.
Studies with animals have shown that the density of fat cells in this area of the body can change after just three years.
During this time frame, all your efforts to reduce your weight will not be enough to help prevent this disease because you still have an opportunity to change your lifestyle and habits.
What Is The Most Common Disease That Patients Are Dying From Today?
The number one killer of people that are 40 years old or older is cancer. You might be wondering how on earth you could develop cancer if you are not a smoker, are not obese, don't eat too much fast food, do not drink alcohol excessively, and get plenty of sleep.
The problem with these diseases is that they can be hard to tell apart from other serious conditions like pneumonia or heart failure. When you do go to the doctor for flu-like symptoms he will probably check for signs of pneumonia first because it is easier to see with x-ray images than cancer.
Can This Disease Be Easily Treated?
The treatment for this disease is not very common at all. Some doctors will give patients a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy while others will try to operate on them to remove the mass in their esophagus.
Even though you have a better chance of recovery if you get these treatments, most people will choose to watch and wait instead of undergoing surgery. Because it is so rare, there are not many hospitals that treat Esophageal Cancer.
Doctors prefer to use this time to see what new research may come out that could help you get better or at least control the spread of this deadly disease.