Doctor insights on:
Advanced Esophageal Cancer Symptoms
How can you tell the difference between hiatal hernia/gerd symptoms and esophageal cancer symptoms?
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
Not nice: Local growth may prevent swallowing even one's own saliva. The idea of gastric tube feeding seems a solution, but prolongs a life of suffering. Esophca can also metastasize. Weight loss, energy loss, weakness, dehydration. Palliative care and hospice help minimize suffering and focus on symptom relief. ...Read more
Pain: The most common symptoms are pain, food getting caught and weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. ...Read more
If a person has symptoms caused by esophageal cancer would taking cough drops help supress those symptoms?
Not really: What symptoms are you referring here? Esophageal cancer usually is presented with problem with swallowing- usually harder with solid food than liquid. Also, other symptoms like bloathing, pain/discomfort can happen. When the cancer spreads outside the esophagus- for instance the lung, liver -other symptoms related to the location of the spreads can occur like weight loss etc. Cough drop won't help. ...Read more
Sadly yes: Esophagus is a muscular tube that can stretch, so often no symptoms until it can't. Also has no outer membrane surrounding it so easier to spread outside the organ itself. ...Read more
Dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, it's been a month since his symptoms started & his biopsy, he can only drink liquids. How quickly will the tumor spread? Days? Weeks? Months?
I've been on omeprazole twice a day for a month now still experiencing symptoms. I will say they have decreased in severity but they are still present. I'm scheduled for endoscopy I am just very concerned about esophageal cancer.
Hi, I had a barium swallow x-ray in February, which was normal. Now having some minor issues. Also coughing some blood stained sputum, Is it possible for Esophageal cancer to be advanced now 10 months later. How long does it take to develop. Thanks.
Barium swallow: Barium swallow may miss esophageal cancer. Upper endoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosis. Coughing up blood is not a characteristic symptom of esophageal cancer but an examination of the mouth, posterior nasal area and throat as well as a tracheal, bronchial and lung evaluation if coughing up blood occurs. ...Read more
My mom 79 has esophageal cancer with mets to liver. So far no symptoms, discomforts, normal life. How long she may have with or w/o treatment? Thanks.
Not long.: This is advanced stage because there are mets to the liver. It is therefore not resectable, so it would likely have to be treated with combination chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. At any rate, 5 year survival in resectable disease is only about 20%, so this is likely less than that, and overall 5 year survival is about <5% due to advanced state of many cases. Try to make her comfortable. ...Read more
S I've been feeling like food is getting stuck in my esophagus. I am panicking that it is esophageal cancer. Is this likely?
Probably not, but: By age, unless there is some family or ethnic history (eg. You were not born and raised in wi), highly improbable. But you should have it evaluated. A barium swallow or esophagoscopy will help diagnose this condition. Talk to your primary care or a gastroenterologist. ...Read more
Depends on the type:
Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus for the most part is casued by smoking, consuming alcohol, nitrosamines, such as pickled foods and smoked meats.
Adenocarcinoma is casued by acid reflux, which can lead to injury of the lining of the esophagus, causing barrett's metaplasia. Barrett's can lead to low grade, then high grade dysplasia, and finally esophageal adenocarcinoma. ...Read more
Slow or Fast: It can be slow or fast, but generally its a slow process. Esophageal cancer tends to be circumferential, like a donut. As it grows, the hole or lumen becomes smaller, and can make it diffiult for food, then liquids to pass through. The diamter of your esophagus can get as narrow as 6mm (18french) before one gets symptoms. ...Read more
About 40%: Esophageal Ca survival depends on type of tumor and extent of disease when defined. Transesophageal ultra sound is helpful in defining extent of tumor invasion into the wall as well as nodes. PET/CAT looks for distant spread. Pretreatment with RT and chemo followed by surgery in Stage I disease gives about 40-50% five year survival. ...Read more
Intraluminal mass: Lesions arising in lumen of the esophagus are considered potentially malignant until bx. As they grow they block lumen causing swallowing problems and then bleed. They occur in 3 regions, the lower third near cardia (adenoCa) of stomach most common and caused frequently by helicon bacter p. Mid esoph follows with squamous lesions and last at upper I/3. RT followed by chemo and surgery used. ...Read more
Depends on type: Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus for the most part is casued by smoking, consuming alcohol, nitrosamines, such as pickled foods and smoked meats. Avoid or limit the above risk factors, especially smoking and excessive alcohol. Adenocarcinoma is casued by acid reflux. Diet modication and antiacids help reflux. If you have barrett's metaplasia, then you should be in an endoscopy program. ...Read more