Diseases Esophageal cancer

Esophageal cancer

This is a malignancy or tumor of esophagus. Esophagus is a tube that runs from your throat to stomach. Food passes through it. This cancer begins with inner layer and can spread to other layers as well as other body parts.

Types Of Cancer :
Esophageal cancer is carcinomas, i.e. originating from inner surface. They are further divided into two categories.
Squamous cell cancer arises from the cells that line the upper part of the esophagus. It constitutes about 90 to 95% of total esophageal cancer cases. It is associated with poor prognosis. They are similar to head and neck cancer and are associated with tobacco and alcohol consumption
Adenocarcinoma arises from glandular cells that are present at the junction of the esophagus and stomach. It is linked to the history of gastro esophageal reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus (oesophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma).
Generally, cancer in the upper two-thirds is a squamous cell carcinoma and one in the lower one-third is an adenocarcinoma.
Other types of esophageal tumors include benign tumors, such as leiomyomas, squamous cell papilloma, granular cell tumor, inflammatory pseudotumor, adenomas, hemangioma, neurofibroma, schwannoma, rhabdomyoma, lipoma, choristoma, amyloid tumor, and hamartoma, and malignant tumors, such as carcinoid tumor, small cell carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, lymphoma, and malignant melanoma.

Causes :
No definitive causes are identified, but alcohol and tobacco consumption are long considered as the prime cause.

Squamous cell carcinoma :

Diet : Diets high in nitrosamines, fungi (eg, pickled vegetables), hot tea, and tannins increase the risk, although green tea may decrease the risk. Diets poor in vitamins and minerals (eg, molybdenum, vitamin A, and zinc) also increase the risk, as does betel nut chewing

Alcohol : risk is increased by potency and quantity of alcohol consumed

Tobacco : smoking or chewing tobacco increases the risk in proportion with the quantity consumed; tobacco and alcohol act synergistically

Drug use : smoking opiates may increase the risk

Achalasia : patients with achalasia are 16 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, with an interval from the time of diagnosis of achalasia to squamous cell carcinoma of approximately 20 years

Esophageal diverticula, esophagitis, and esophageal strictures, especially radiation and lye induced, usually 40 to 50 years after the insult
Esophageal web with brittle fingernails, cheilosis, glossitis, iron-deficiency anemia, Head and neck malignancy with concurrent alcohol abuse and smoking
Human papillomavirus and fungal infection of the esophagus
Partial and total gastrectomy increases the risk, usually 20 years after gastrectomy
Radiation therapy
Geographic variation exists; there is a high incidence in certain areas of Asia and South Africa

Adenocarcinoma :
Tobacco smoking
Barrett's esophagus is the strongest risk factor, increasing the risk 40-fold
GERD, esophagitis, and hiatal hernia, especially symptomatic
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Symptoms :
The problem with this disease is that symptoms are generally observed in the late stage. Earlier there may not be any significant or alarming symptoms.

1. Painful swelling.
2. Weigt loss.
3. Reduced apettite
4. Poor nutrition
5. Cough
6. Heartburn
7. Hoarseness

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