Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus — a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Your esophagus carries food you swallow to your stomach to be digested.
Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
• Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
• Weight loss without trying
• Chest pain, pressure or burning
• Worsening indigestion or heartburn
• Coughing or hoarseness
Early esophageal cancer typically causes no signs or symptoms.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose esophageal cancer include:
• Using a scope to examine your esophagus (endoscopy). During endoscopy, doctor passes a hollow tube equipped with a lens (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus. Using the endoscope, your doctor examines your esophagus, looking for cancer or areas of irritation.
• Collecting a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). Doctor may use a special scope passed down your throat into your esophagus (endoscope) to collect a sample of suspicious tissue (biopsy). The tissue sample is sent to a laboratory to look for cancer cells.
Tests used in staging esophageal cancer include
• Computerized tomography (CT) scan
• Positron emission tomography (PET).
What treatments you receive for esophageal cancer are based on the
• Type of cells involved in cancer
• Cancer's stage
• Overall health and patient preferences for treatment.
Treatment include Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.