What is esophogeal cancer?

Malignant tumor. Esophageal cancer is fairly infrequent malignant tumor of the esophagus. It is ~ #9 cancer in the US. It is most frequently seen in patients who have strong history of alcohol abuse. Smoking predisposes to it as well. Acid reflux is another contributing factor. There are different types of esophageal cancer (squamous one and adenocarcinoma). It tends to spread quickly and early.
Cancer . The esophagus conducts food from the lower portion of your throat all the way to your stomach. Cancer occurring anywhere along this "tube" is thus esophogeal cancer.

Related Questions

What are the symptoms of esophogeal cancer?

Swallowing. Trouble swallowing is the main one. Others may include unexplained weight loss, microscopic blood in the stool, anemia, chest pain. Sometimes heartburn can be a symptom of early esophageal cancer or a premalignant esophageal lesion (barrett's). Read more...
Pain, loose weight. Anything that has to do with the esophagus..Pain, food not going down or feeling uncomfortable, loosing weight for no reason, indigestion that is really bad. Read more...

What is the prognosis for esophogeal cancer?

Poor. Esophageal cancers are usually very aggressive. If they have spread outside of the esophagus can usually not be cured. The life expectancy of most esophageal tumors is measured in weeks to months. However, if the cancer is limited to the lining (high grade dysplasia) or is small in size, surgery with or without chemoradiation can help. Visit: http://www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/pubmedhealth/pmh0001328/. Read more...
Varies with stage. Early stage esophageal cancers can be cured with combination therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) in more than a 1/3 cases while the prognosis for advanced and stage 4 cases is very poor; overall survival at 5 years is 20-25% for all comers. Read more...

What is the treatment for esophogeal cancer?

Multi-pronged. Treatments for localised esophageal cancer typically invovle surgery; often patients wil get chemotherapy and radiotherapy before surgery to shrink the cancers or after surgery to prevent the cancer from recurring. For cancer that has spread, typically chemotherapy is the mainstay and radaition, surgery, and stenting are used in special situations. Read more...
Depends. Depends on stage, location and the condition of the patient to tolerate treatments - can be a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy (not necessarily in that order). Read more...