Generally, there are two types of esophageal cancer; this highly depends on the kind of the malignant cells. The first type of cancer is usually present in the esophagus lining which is made up of thin, flat cells known as squamous cells. Squamous cell carcinoma comes up in these cells and this happens in the upper and middle part of the esophagus. The second one is referred to as Adenocarcinoma and its development takes place at the bottom of the esophagus which has a columnar cells lining. Esophageal cancer begins in the esophagus but it can also take place outside the living of the asophagus then go to other parts of the body.
Lifestyle Triggers of esophageal cancer
The first type (squamous cell carcinoma) has a relationship with tobacco and alcoholic beverages use, while adenocarcinoma is associated to gastro esophageal reflux disease.
What are the Symptoms of esophageal cancer?
The major symptoms for this cancer are heartburn and pain in the chest. Naturally, the esophageal lining isn’t made to the exposal of the stomach acidic fluid. Hence if it happens, it causes a burning sensation or pain in the chest commonly referred to as heartburn. Continuous exposure to these acidic fluids can damage the lining and in the process change the squamous cells into glandular cells (commonly found in the intestines). As a result, a more acid resistant esophagus is developed. According to cancer experts, those with Barrett’s esophagus have increased risk of (Bareehs) developing esophageal cancer. Patients with this cancer normally look for help as it relates to acid reflux or heartburn. Barrett’s esophagus in itself has no observable symptoms hence if a patient doesn’t have reflux or heartburn experience then they would not be aware of the presence of this type of cancer in their bodies. Barrett’s esophagus can evolve into adenocarcinoma, where it may develop in vicinity to the bottom of the esophagus.
Diagnosis of esophageal cancer through Upper endoscopy
Upper endoscopy is an essential test for the diagnosis of this type of cancer. The patient is sedated-made sleepy and used the physician goes on to pass the endoscope deep down the throat and in the esophagus and stomach. A tiny camera which is attached to a monitor assists the doctor in seeing the affected area vividly. The doctor is also capable of getting biopsy samples from the affected area where they can then be checked in a lab for cancer. If the opening of the esophagus is blocked by the esophageal cancer, specialized tools can be made use of in its enlargement, this helps in allowing liquid and food to pass. Use of upper endoscopy can arm the doctor with essential information about the size of the esophageal cancer tumor and also how far it has spread and a decision can be made if there is need for its removal.
Though H. pylori bacteria is shown to be a cause for stomach ulcers and has connection with stomach cancer, its eradication might not be helpful. Research actually reveals that those not affected by the H. pylori have higher chances of esophageal cancer. It has been a suggestion of researchers that the bacteria may reduce stomach acids in some people hence reducing the risk of reflux disease and esophageal cancer.