What you need to know about esophageal cancer

esophageal cancer | All you need to know about esophageal cancer and its treatment

The world is currently witnessing a high risk of esophageal cancer, which is one of the rare malignant tumors, but its cure is not impossible, but it can be cured in Turkey.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that forms the passageway that food and liquids use to reach the stomach where it is digested.

The two main types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (which forms in the lining of the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (which arises at the expense of the glandular tissue of the esophagus).

Esophageal cancer overview

What is esophageal cancer?

The esophagus is a long muscular tube that runs from the throat to the pharynx and stomach.

It consists of several layers of muscle that contract to help move food down the tube toward the rest of the digestive system.

There is a special muscle of the esophageal sphincter as a valve, which opens and closes to allow food and liquids to pass easily from the esophagus and also prevents food from returning from the stomach back into the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer results when abnormal cells grow out of control.

Eventually the developing tissue forms a mass known as a malignant tumor.

There are two main types of esophageal cancer:

Cancer begins esophagus Squamous in the lining of the esophagus, this cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.

Adenocarcinoma develops in the tissues that produce the mucus that aids the passage of food and generally affects the lower part of the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer is localized in relation to the rest of the body
esophageal cancer


Symptoms and causes of esophageal cancer

What are the causes of esophageal cancer?

The exact cause of an esophageal tumor is unknown, but there are many factors associated with the mechanism of the disease.

Esophageal cancer risk factors include:

  • the elderlyEsophageal cancer occurs more often in people over the age of 60 than in those age 60 or younger.
  • sexMen are three times more likely to contract the disease than women
  • SweatSquamous esophageal carcinoma occurs more often in African Americans and Asians
    Adenocarcinoma most often spreads in eggs
  • Tobacco use: This includes smoking and the use of tobacco by non-smokers
  • alcohol abuseChronic and excessive alcohol use and heavy drinking increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Barrett's syndrome and chronic acid reflux: where there is a change in the structure of the cells at the lower end of the esophagus as a result of chronic gastric acid reflux into the esophagus.
    Even without the development of Barrett's esophagus, people with long-term heartburn are more likely to develop esophageal cancer.
  • human papilloma virus (HPV): As the incidence of esophageal cancer is high in some regions around the world (such as Asia and South Africa), infection with this virus is considered an increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (psoriasis).
    Infectious papillomavirus is a common virus that can cause changes in the tissues of the vocal cords, mouth, hands, feet, and sexual organs.
  • Other disordersOther cases have been linked to esophageal cancer
    These include achalasia (an uncommon disease that causes difficulty swallowing) and telus syndrome (a rare genetic disorder in which excess skin appears on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).
  • Occupational exposure to some chemicals: People who are exposed to dry cleaning solvents for long periods of time are at risk of developing esophageal cancer
  • Cancer historyPeople who have had neck or head cancer have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Esophageal tumors may not have obvious symptoms in the early stages.
The symptom that people first notice is dysphagia, as the lump increases in size it narrows the opening of the esophagus, making swallowing difficult and painful.

Other symptoms of esophageal cancer can include:

  • Pain in the throat, back, behind the sternum, or between the shoulder blades
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • heartburn
  • Hoarseness or chronic cough
  • Weight loss where rapid weight loss is one of the most important signs of cancer first because of the inability to eat and secondly because of the cancer mass itself

Diagnostics and tests

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed in Turkey?

Surgeons will ask about your medical history, including current symptoms.

After a physical exam, your doctor may order some tests that can help diagnose and evaluate esophageal cancer.

  • barium rays: It uses a specific series of X-rays to visualize the esophagus.
    The patient drinks a liquid containing barium, which makes the esophagus easier to see on X-rays.
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy: It is a procedure that allows the doctor to look inside the esophagus using a thin, lighted tube called an endoscope.
    For the test, the endoscope is passed through your mouth and down your throat into your esophagus while you sleep.
    Endoscopy may also be used to relieve obstruction.
    The doctor may insert a balloon to widen the blocked esophagus.
    Looking at the esophagus and upper part of the stomach is called an upper endoscopy.
  • biopsy: During an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, your doctor may take a small biopsy of tissue to examine under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells
  • Ultrasound: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy uses sound waves to create images of internal structures
    In this procedure, ultrasound is done through an esophagoscope
  • Computed tomography (CT): It is often used to assess the extent of cancer spread to the chest and abdomen
  • Positron emission tomography (PET/CT): It is also used to find out how far the cancer has spread

How is esophageal cancer classified?

Most cancers are grouped by stage. This classification helps to plan and choose an appropriate treatment approach.

The stage of cancer depends on the location and depth of the lump: the lymph nodes are affected, and the degree to which the cancer has spread to other tissues and organs.

In addition to determining the stage of the cancer, tumor types can also be classified.
Classification is a method of classifying blocks based on the shape of their cells and how well they function as normal cells.

Classification of tumors can also tell doctors how quickly a lump is growing in size.

Tumors with a near-normal, slowly growing cell are called well-differentiated (low grade) tumours.
Lumps in which the cell is different, abnormal and rapidly dividing are called undifferentiated (high grade) tumors.
These high-grade masses are more likely to spread faster than low-grade tumors.

Esophageal tumors treatment in Turkey

How is esophageal cancer managed and treated in Turkey?

How you manage your condition depends on the stage and grade of your cancer.

There are many treatment options that can be used for esophageal cancer, and they are as follows:

  • Surgery It is the most common method of treating this type of cancer.
    Surgery to remove part or most of the esophagus, as well as some of the tissue around it, can be done in a procedure called an esophagectomy.
    Normal esophageal position
    Normal esophageal position

    If the esophagus is removed, the doctor may reposition the stomach (move it up into the chest) or use a piece of intestine to maintain function.
    The doctor may also remove lymph nodes around the esophagus and look at them under a microscope to see if they contain cancer cells.
    Surgery can treat cancer in some patients whose tumor has not spread outside the esophagus.
    Unfortunately, the rate of esophageal cancers being caught early is less than 25 percent, and surgery is often offered to relieve symptoms.
    Esophageal cancer surgery often requires a lengthy hospitalization.
    Some surgeons now perform the procedures using minimally invasive techniques: thoracic surgeryVideo mode (endoscope) AndRobotic surgery Which is performed most often on lung cancer.
    the Complications: Problems emptying food and moving it down, narrowing of the surgical site in addition to heartburn.

  • Radiotherapy It is a method of treating disease using radiation (high-energy rays) or radioactive materials.
    It is used to kill or destroy a cancer cell, often by directing a beam of radiation at the tumor.
    Radiation destroys the cancer cell by interfering with its growth and division.
    Radiation may be used alone, before surgery to shrink tumors, or after surgery to kill any cancerous bits and lumps that may remain.
    While radiation is applied to people with esophageal cancer, a stent (small tube) is sometimes inserted into the esophagus to keep it open.
    This is called intubation and intraluminal dilatation.
    Radiation therapy is primarily used as part of a larger treatment regimen to relieve difficulty swallowing.


  • Chemotherapy Medications are used to kill or stop the growth of cancerous masses.
    Some chemotherapy drugs are taken in tablet form and some are put directly into the bloodstream through a vein.
    These drugs travel through the bloodstream and can kill cells throughout the body.
    For esophageal cancer, chemotherapy is sometimes used before surgery to help shrink the tumor.
    It may be given chemotherapy to control symptoms (along with pain medication), before surgery to shrink a tumor, or it may be used with radiation to destroy a tumor.


  • Endoscopic submucosal dissection (EDS) or endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR .) is consideredProcedures for treating small early tumors.
    Tumors can be removed endoscopically without the need to remove the esophagus.
  • Endoscopic laser treatment of tumors It can be used to treat seriously advanced tumors that may be causing a blockage in the esophagus. As part of palliative care, a laser may be used to puncture the blockage to improve swallowing and allow the patient to eat.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) It uses photoactive drugs (drugs activated by non-thermal light) that are absorbed by tumor masses, thus destroying cancer cells.
    This technique can be used to help relieve symptoms of esophageal cancer, especially difficulty swallowing.

For more details about Surgeries in Turkey We recommend you to visit Link.


Esophageal cancer prevention

How can esophageal cancer be prevented?

Although esophageal cancer can't be prevented, controlling risk factors, such as not using tobacco and alcohol, may help reduce the risk of developing the disease.

A new study suggests that people diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus who are treated with radiofrequency ablation have a lower risk of esophageal cancer.


What is the outlook for people with esophageal cancer?

The chance of recovery depends on the stage of the cancer and the person's general health.
If esophageal cancer is caught early, it can often be treated successfully.

Unfortunately, esophageal cancer usually isn't detected until it has advanced to an advanced stage, at which point treatment is less successful. It may be fatal.

Common Questions

This type of tumor reduces the quality of life of individuals and puts them at risk of disappearing voice and the risk of suffocation with a large tumor. Usually, a person begins to notice their inability to swallow solid food and the ability to drink beverages without problems. This is an important sign that paying attention to it helps you get better care sooner.

Its main danger is that its development is rapid and symptoms do not appear until it reaches its advanced stages.


Chronic cases of reflux are associated with a high risk of developing malignant cancerous masses, especially if they are neglected and not treated appropriately.

The cure rate depends on the type of mass, its development and its size. In general, 47% of diagnosed cases may live 5 years after treatment if the cancer is only inside the esophagus, but if it has spread to other organs, this percentage drops to 25%. as you indicate statistics new for 2022.

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