More than 20,000 people receive an esophageal cancer diagnosis every year. If you’re facing this rare type of cancer, you need help from a skilled specialist at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, at any of their 13 convenient locations throughout Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina. Book your appointment online, or call the office for help today.
Esophageal cancer affects your esophagus, the tube between your throat and stomach. The two main types of esophageal cancer are:
Adenocarcinoma occurs when the glandular cells that release mucus inside your esophagus mutate and reproduce too rapidly. It’s the most common form of esophageal cancer among Americans. Adenocarcinoma usually occurs in the lower esophagus.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common kind of esophageal cancer worldwide. It occurs in the flat cells lining the surface of your esophagus. It usually affects the upper and middle esophagus.
Some less common forms of esophageal cancer include small cell carcinoma, melanoma, and lymphoma.
Some of the main risk factors for esophageal cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus, an unhealthy diet, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
Esophageal cancer can cause a number of symptoms. They may include:
These symptoms can also happen with other digestive tract conditions and diseases, so it’s important that you see a doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, promptly when these issues start so you can get a diagnosis and treatment.
Esophageal cancer diagnosis begins with a comprehensive medical history and exam. You may need routine lab testing as well. Usually, the first test to detect esophageal cancer is an endoscopy, in which your doctor examines the lining of your esophagus through a thin, lighted tube.
Other tests to detect esophageal cancer may include a series of specialized X-rays (barium swallow), computed tomography (CT) scan, and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). During endoscopy, your doctor may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) to test it in the lab.
Esophageal cancer treatment depends on the specifics of your cancer, your age, and your overall health. The main approaches include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and photodynamic (light) therapy.
Many people with esophageal cancer have surgery to remove the cancerous tissue along with chemotherapy or another type of therapy.
The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome, so it’s important to see your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, as soon as you notice possible symptoms of esophageal cancer.
For the best in compassionate gastrointestinal care, call the nearest Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, office, or click on the provided link now.