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Our Services / Esophageal Cancer

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About Esophageal Cancer


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 Q & A

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer affects your esophagus, the tube between your throat and stomach. The two main types of esophageal cancer are: 

Adenocarcinoma

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

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. 

What symptoms does esophageal cancer cause?

Esophageal cancer can cause a number of symptoms. They may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • The feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Chest pain
  • Throat pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Vomiting blood
  • Unexpected weight loss 

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. 

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

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.

How is esophageal cancer treated?

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. 

Carolina Digestive Health Associates