Esophageal cancer – Early warning signs and remedies
Esophageal cancer is a severe type of cancer that occurs in the esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Esophageal cancer is frequently not discovered until it has progressed significantly, making treatment challenging. On the other hand, knowing the early warning signs of esophageal cancer can help improve the chances of diagnosis. Listed below are some symptoms and treatment options for esophageal cancer to be aware of.
Warning signs of esophageal cancer
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is one of the first symptoms of esophageal cancer. It can cause the sensation that food is stuck in the throat or not passing easily. If this symptom frequently occurs, especially when eating solid foods, it is best to consult a health expert immediately.
Chest pain can be caused by esophageal cancer, especially when swallowing food or liquid. This pain, which may feel like a burning sensation in the chest, may worsen over time. Therefore, it is important to distinguish this type of pain from other types of chest pain, such as heartburn, to receive appropriate treatment.
Change in body mass
Another common symptom of esophageal cancer is an unexplained change in body mass. As cancer spreads, it can make swallowing difficult, resulting in decreased food intake and body mass loss. It is advised to consult a doctor or a nutritional expert in such cases.
Hoarseness or coughing
Esophageal cancer can also cause hoarseness or a chronic cough. It happens when a cancerous tumor grows close to the vocal cords or cancer cells spread to the lungs. Constant hoarseness and a persistent cough can be dangerous and necessitate a healthcare professional’s attention to avoid complications.
Regular acid reflux or heartburn can also be a sign of esophageal cancer. When stomach acid goes back into the esophagus, it causes irritation and inflammation, eventually leading to the formation of cancerous cells.
Vomiting or regurgitation
Another symptom of esophageal cancer is vomiting or regurgitation of food or liquids. It occurs when a cancerous tumor obstructs the esophagus, making swallowing food difficult. Vomiting or regurgitation may be more noticeable when someone lies down or bends over.
Esophageal cancer is a severe condition that requires immediate attention from a healthcare professional. Therefore, it is crucial to seek expert advice immediately if one experiences any of these warning signs. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can significantly improve the chances of recovery.
Treatment for esophageal cancer
Esophageal cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Surgery is frequently suggested as the primary treatment for esophageal cancer. Its goal is to remove the cancerous tissue while leaving a healthy mass around it. Before surgery, the tumor is substantially reduced using a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Meanwhile, targeted therapy focuses on specific proteins or genes involved in cancer cell growth and their spreading. The treatment plan is tailored to each patient’s requirements and depends on multiple factors. Some of these factors include cancer’s stage, location, the patient’s overall health, and any other health conditions. Consulting a doctor at the right time is important to ensure early diagnosis and appropriate care. Make sure to discuss the treatment with a healthcare professional beforehand to be prepared for surgery and recovery.
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