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All about esophageal cancer causes of esophageal cancer risk factors for esophageal cancer symptoms of cancer of the esophagus diagnosis of esophageal cancer stages of esophageal cancer treatment for esophageal cancer prevention of esophageal cancer

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

A barium swallow is usually the first test performed on a patient whose symptoms suggest esophageal cancer. This special x-ray can highlight any bumps or flat raised areas on the normally smooth surface of the esophageal wall. It can also detect

large, irregular areas that narrow the esophagus in patients with advanced cancer, but it cannot provide information about disease that has spread beyond the esophagus. A double contrast study is a barium swallow with air blown into the esophagus to improve the way the barium coats the esophageal lining.

Esophagoscopy is a diagnostic procedure in which a thin lighted tube (esophagoscope) is passed through the mouth, down the throat, and into the esophagus. Cells that appear abnormal are removed for biopsy.

Once a diagnosis of esophageal cancer has been confirmed through biopsy, additional tests are performed to determine whether the disease has spread (metastasized) to tissues or organs near the original tumor or in other parts of the body. This is called staging.

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.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005