If the cells in the esophageal mucosa begin to rapidly multiply and produce a malignant tumor, itwill eventually come to the narrowing and stenosis of the passage leading to the stomach. The cause is unknown, but there seems to be the connection between the esophageal cancer and prolonged exposure to irritant substances, such as cigarette smoke and alcohol.
The main symptom of esophageal cancer is somewhat difficult and and painful swallowing, which is rapidly worsening. At first, it is difficult to eat the solid food, but after some time this problem will also appear with liquid food. An additional symptom is a weight loss. Sometimes, the patient can throw out a bloody mucosa while burping.
This type of cancer is very rare, and occurs in only 1 person out of 15,000. Men are twice more vulnerable than women, and it seems that the most vulnerable are passionate smokers and people who drink a lot in the age group of 50 to 60 years. If the disease is discovered early, prospects for successful treatment are pretty good.
What to do?
If you feel like the food stays in pharynx when you are trying to swallow it, go to your doctor immediately. Although the possibility of having a cancerous tumor is small, your doctor will send you to diagnostic tests – X-rays with barium, endoscopy and biopsy. If the tests shows that you have esophageal cancer, the affected part is usually removed surgically. Thereafter, radiotherapy is followed to completely destroy any remaining cancer cells. If surgery is not possible, radiotherapy is used to slow the progression of the disease. Cytostatics are sometimes used, too.