Esophageal Cancer Treatment in Bangalore
In this Blog, Best Cancer Surgeon in Bangalore –Dr. Prabhu N Nesargikar will be discussing an important topic that you need to be aware of. Let’s begin with a real life story.
In 2007, for the first time Chandrashekhar had trouble eating. During every meal, food would get stuck in his throat. Instead of seeking medical attention, Chandrashekhar secretly hoped it would go away. Fortunately, his wife Kala knew it would not disappear on its own. In 2008, she finally convinced him to go to the doctor. After a few tests, they learned that the inability to swallow food properly was caused by a malignant tumour in his esophagus. Doctors used a minimally invasive technique to get rid of the tumour. Chandrashekhar could not believe how good he felt after surgery. He is leading a normal life today.
Major strides have been made in the treatment of Esophageal cancer in the recent years.
What is Esophageal cancer?
Esophageal cancer occurs when cells in the esophagus begin to grow abnormally. They do not respond to regular division and death signals like they are supposed to. Instead they grow into a tumour, which may extend into the open space inside your esophagus
Understanding your esophagus
Your esophagus is a long, hollow, muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach. The wall of your esophagus has several layers of tissue that work together to push food down into your stomach when you swallow.
Types of Esophageal cancer
Usually Esophageal cancer starts in the cells that line the esophagus. Cancer may spread into the wall and to nearby organs.
Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer
- Have trouble swallowing
- Have pain with swallowing
- Frequently choke on food
Other early warning signs may result from a variety of medical issues. See your doctor if you experience any of these other potential signs for a prolonged period:
- Pressure or burning in your chest
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in your throat
Diagnosing esophageal cancer
The doctor will first thoroughly examine you. The next step involves a few tests.
Endoscopy, including endoscopic ultrasound, gives the best information about the structure of your esophagus. It shows complications of reflux.
What to expect?
- You are sedated.
- The doctor inserts a thin, tube called endoscope into your esophagus.
- The endoscope has a light and a tiny camera on the end to take close-up images.
- The doctor may conduct biopsy so the cells can be examined in the lab.
Sometimes the doctor can remove the tumour during an endoscopy if it is in early stages and has not spread.
If your doctor suspects the presence of tumour, he will recommend imaging tests such as CT scan or PET scan.
Your doctor may ask you to have a complete blood count to check the level of each type of blood cell in your bloodstream. Low red blood cells may be a sign of internal bleeding, which sometimes happens with Esophageal cancer.
What causes Esophageal cancer?
These factors may affect your risk for Esophageal cancer:
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to develop Esophageal cancer.
- Esophageal cancer is more common after 50.
- Regular use of Tobacco and alcohol
- Head or neck cancers
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Injury to the esophagus
When acid from the stomach repeatedly comes up into the esophagus — as it does in GERD — the acid may damage the cells of the Esophageal lining. Over time this damage can cause the cells to mutate.
In a small fraction of people, the mutated cells turn into cancer.
Several options, including lifestyle changes, medication and surgery, are available to control reflux and to prevent or treat the problems that can develop as a result of reflux.