Esophageal Cancer: Causes and Treatment Options
Esophageal cancer is defined as cancer present anywhere in the esophagus, which is sometimes referred to as the food pipe. This type of cancer can be very serious, and it is important to spot the warning signs for an early diagnosis and quick treatment.
What Causes Esophageal Cancer?
Anybody can develop esophageal cancer, and there is no clear reason for it. This type of cancer is more likely to afflict those over the age of 75, and it is not commonly seen in people under 45. It is also more likely to affect men and has been connected to certain lifestyle factors.
You can help reduce your risk of esophageal cancer by only drinking alcohol in moderation, avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of this kind of cancer are often difficult to notice or attribute to a more serious concern.
These symptoms include:
- Dysphagia (problems swallowing)
- Acid reflux
- Persistent cough
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in the throat
- Pain in the chest
If you have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, then the next step is to explore treatment options.
Patients with this type of cancer often find that they have difficulty swallowing foods and liquids. Products such as SimplyThick can help with this problem and might be recommended during the treatment stage.
The treatment options available to you will depend on the size of cancer, where it is located, whether or not cancer has spread to other parts of the body, and how healthy you are in general.
Your doctor will take all of these factors into account when deciding on the best route of treatment for you.
If you have been diagnosed early, then a surgical procedure to remove the cancer might be the best option. It might be necessary to entirely remove theesophagus, as well as other internal parts of the body in the surrounding area.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used in addition to surgery or also as a separate option. These treatments are designed to kill cancerous cells and can be used to manage symptoms in patients where the cancer is more advanced.
If your cancer is diagnosed in the late stages, then it is likely that it will be terminal and untreatable. In this case, you can still explore treatment options to extend your life and to manage the severity of the symptoms.
If your cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, then the combination of surgery and other treatments could help you to have a full recovery. Although your cancer may be cured, it is still likely that you will experience ongoing health issues related to the treatment, such as the impact of having the esophagus removed. However, it is possible to lead a long and happy life once you are cured ofesophageal cancer. Your doctor will be able to talk you through all of the permanent impacts of life after cancer so that you can make the most informed choices for yourself.