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Home >> Specialities >> Cancer Care >> Osophageal Cancer Treatment

Osophageal Cancer Treatment

Ranked as the 8th most common Cancer affecting people across the globe, Osophageal Cancer affects more than 600,000 lives every year. Men are more likely to have Esophageal Cancer as compared to women, which is quite evident from the fact that it is the 7th most common cancer in males and 13th in females. The highest incidence of Esophageal Cancer is seen in the age group of 45 to 70 years.

What is Osophageal Cancer?
The term Osophageal Cancer is used for any cancer that originates from the cells lining the food pipe (Osophagus), which is the long narrow tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Since there are several different types of cells involved, Osophageal Cancer can be of different types, the most common of which are Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma. 

What are the symptoms of Osophageal Cancer?
Common symptoms that may point towards the possibility of one having Osophageal Cancer include: 

  • Problems with digestion
  • Heartburn
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Hoarse throat 
  • Breathlessness and Fatigue 

When should you see a Specialist?
It is advisable to see a specialist as soon as you detect any of the above-mentioned symptoms. All these just points towards the possibility of you having Esophageal Cancer but are not definitive. In order to confirm whether a patient has Osophageal Cancer or not, the doctors perform some physical examinations and tests. The sooner you consult a specialist, your Prognosis would be quicker and you would have a better chance to overcome it. 

What causes Osophageal Cancer? 
There are several different factors that may be responsible for the DNA mutations that lead to the uncontrolled multiplication of malignant cells in the Esophagus. Since DNA is responsible for regulating the reproduction of cells, any fault in it is likely to disrupt the same. The abnormal cells, having a greater life span, continue to build up and gradually result in the formation of a Tumour. Some of the common risk factors that can increase your risks of having such DNA mutations include the following:

  • Long-term GERD and bile reflux 
  • Excessive smoking
  • Heavy drinking
  • Obesity 
  • Unhealthy eating habits 
  • Undergoing radiation treatment in the past
  • Having precancerous conditions like Barrett’s Osophagus

Modalities used for the diagnosis of Osophageal Cancer 

  • Barium swallow study 
  • Endoscopy 
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Computerized tomography or CT scan 
  • PET scan 

Treatment options available for Osophageal Cancer

  • Surgery (procedures like Oesophagectomy and Osophagogastrectomy)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy 
  • Immunotherapy 

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