Treatment for Esophageal Cancer in Philadelphia
Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer where the cancer cells form in the tissues of the patient’s esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that moves food and liquids from your throat to your stomach to be digested.
Esophageal cancer usually starts in the cells that line the inside of your esophagus. In the United States, esophageal cancer typically occurs in the lower portion of the esophagus. It is typically more common in men than in women.
What are the more common types of Esophageal Cancer?
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Begins in flat cells lining the esophagus
- Adenocarcinoma: Begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids
- Other Rare Types: choriocarcinoma, lymphoma, melanoma, sarcoma, and small cancer
What increases your risk of Esophageal Cancer?
- Heavy Alcohol Use
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (increases risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma)
- Barrett Esophagus (increases risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma)
What are the symptoms of Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is typically diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage due to the fact that there are no early signs or symptoms.
Below is a list of symptoms that are common with esophageal cancer:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Weight loss
- Chest pain, pressure or burning
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn
- Coughing or hoarseness
If you see persistent signs and symptoms it may be time to visit your doctor for evaluation.
What tests are used to help detect and diagnose Esophageal Cancer?
- Physical Exam: An exam of the patient’s body to check their general health, including checking for signs of the disease, such as lumps that seem unusual. A history of the patient’s health and history may be taken in addition to helping get a better idea of diagnosing the patient.
- Chest X-Ray: An X-Ray of the organs and bones inside the chest.
- Barium Swallow: This is a series of x-rays inside the esophagus and stomach. The patient drinks a liquid that contains barium that will coat the esophagus and stomach, and x-rays will be taken.
- Esophagoscopy: This is a procedure that is done to look inside the esophagus to check for abnormal areas.
- Biopsy: Cells or tissues are removed from the patient to be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer.
If you have any questions about esophageal cancer, how it is diagnosed, or treatment options, feel free to call the office of Philadelphia Gastroenterology Consultants at (215) 742-9900.