What causes esophageal cancer?
Esophageal carcinoma arises in the mucosa. Subsequently, it tends to invade the submucosa and the muscular layer and, eventually, contiguous structures such as the tracheobronchial tree, the aorta, or the recurrent laryngeal nerve. The tumor
also tends to metastasize to the periesophageal lymph nodes and, eventually, to the liver, lungs, or both.
People who smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, and drink alcohol are at a higher risk for this cancer. It is also thought that chronic and recurring irritation can increase the risk of esophageal cancer. These irritations include drinking very hot liquids, eating pickled foods, and being exposed to environmental toxins.
Esophageal cancer is rarely seen in people younger than 25 years old. The disease is more common in men than in women. It is seen more often in African Americans than in Caucasians. Overall, esophageal cancer is relatively uncommon in the United States. In some parts of Asia it is the second most common cancer, accounting for as much as 50% of all cancer deaths.
More information on esophageal cancer
What is esophageal cancer? - Esophageal cancer is a malignancy that develops in tissues lining the hollow, muscular canal. Cancer of the esophagus is also called esophageal cancer.
What causes esophageal cancer? - Esophageal cancer can result after many years of irritation to the esophagus. The use of both alcohol and tobacco significantly increase risk.
What're the risk factors for esophageal cancer? - People who smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, and drink alcohol are at a higher risk for this cancer. Risk factors for esophageal cancer include age, sex, alcohol use.
What're symptoms of cancer of the esophagus? - Early-stage esophageal cancer may have no symptoms. Dysphagia is the most common symptom. Spread to bones may cause pain.
How is esophageal cancer diagnosed? - A barium swallow is usually the first test performed on a patient whose symptoms suggest esophageal cancer.
What're the stages of esophageal cancer? - Staging esophageal cancer is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
What's the treatment for esophageal cancer? - Treatment for esophageal cancer depends on a number of factors, including the size, location, and extent of the tumor, and the general health of the patient.
How to prevent esophageal cancer? - The best way to prevent esophageal cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol. Eating more fruits and vegetables.