Esophageal Cancer

Cancers of the esophagus (food pipe to the stomach) are usually one of two types: squamous cell (associated with smoking and alcohol) and adenocarcinoma (more associated with Barrett's Esophagus). Signs and symptoms include: difficulty swallowing, pain and anemia, however, this cancer is more often asymptomatic until late, when it is difficult to cure. Evaluation includes barium swallow and upper endoscopy. The treatment is usually surgical, although there is often a role for chemotherapy with radiation. Sometimes, if the narrowing is severe, a plastic or metal stent (expandable tube) can be used to open the food pipe up to allow the patient to continue eating. In selected cases, the new plastic stents can allow for continued oral feeding during radiation as opposed to the traditional feeding tube (PEG) which pierces from skin into stomach.

Digestive Health Tips From Our Staff

"If you are experiencing GI distress, give probiotics a try to see if these will help your symptoms.”

 

Heartburn is a common affliction for many people, but if left untreated it can lead to complications such as Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer.