Oesophagal cancer is cancer which happens in the oesophagus. It might occur at any place along the path of the oesophagus. Men are more like to affect by this cancer than women. Usually, cancer will begin in the cells lining inside the oesophagus.
Oesophagal cancer is the 6th most common reason for cancer deaths all over the world. Incidence rates vary according to geographic locations. In some regions, more oesophagal cancer cases may be caused due to tobacco and alcohol use or due to particular nutritional practices & obesity.
Causes of Esophageal Cancer
Oesophagal cancer occurs when abnormal changes take place in the DNA cells of the oesophagus. The mutations make cells grow and break out of control. These cancer cells accumulate together and form a tumour in the oesophagus which grows and spread to nearby structures and to other body parts.
Oesophagal cancer is classified based on the type of cells involved.
- Squamous cell cancer: It often occurs in upper and middle portions of the oesophagus due to consumption of alcohol and tobacco product.
- Adenocarcinoma is cancer that originates in the cells of mucus-secreting glands and most often occurs in the lower portion of the oesophagus.
- Adenocarcinoma cancer in the lower part of the oesophagus is more associated with gastro-oesophagal reflux disease (GERD).
- Some other rare oesophagal cancer forms include small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma and choriocarcinoma etc.
Symptoms of oesophagal cancer
Early oesophagal cancer hardly causes signs or symptoms and they include:
- Difficulty in swallowing food (dysphagia)
- Losing weight
- Chest pain, pressure or burning
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Coughing or hoarseness
Laparoscopic esophagectomy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove part or all of the oesophagus. It is mostly performed to treat oesophagal cancer. Sometimes this surgery is also done to treat the oesophagus which no longer supported to move food into the stomach.
- During the minimally invasive esophagectomy, small surgical incisions are made in the upper belly, chest, or neck.
- A laparoscope with a camera head to view inside and other surgical tools through the incisions are inserted to perform the surgery.
- Now the gastro surgeon removes the damaged part of the oesophagus.
- After removing the damaged part of the oesophagus, the remaining ends are joined together with the help of staples or stitches. If a large amount of oesophagus is removed, your stomach is reshaped into a tube by the gastro surgeon to make a new oesophagus.
Some other treatment options like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, targeted therapy, photodynamic therapy and endoscopic treatments are also used in the