Esophagus is a muscular food pipe usually 10 to 13 inches long that runs between the throat and the stomach.
Esophageal cancer infiltrates 60% of the circumference of esophageal tube narrowing the food pipe die to physical presence of the tumor.
Prominent symptoms usually do not appear but you will feel the warning sign of having esophageal cancer, this is where you should be frighten as you know all kinds of cancer have low rate of survival as it spreads in the body giving so many complications.
Once you feel something is wrong with your food pipe, you should immediately consult a doctor before something horrific will happen that could cost your life.
Esophageal cancer is most common in men and in over 60’s.
Warning Signs of Esophageal Cancer
- Early sign may be coughing while eating or drinking.
- First common symptom is usually difficulty in swallowing.
- Pain when swallowing is less at first.
- Weight loss is the initial symptom.
- There is pain behind the breast bone or in the area around the stomach which feels like hearth burn.
- If you experience unusual husky, hoarse-sounding, or raspy cough.
- Nausea, vomiting, coughing, and regurgitation of food.
- Vomiting of blood.
- Bone pain.
- Stools may turn to black.
Smoking associated with alcohol – the major risk of esophageal cancer. The combination of two has a strong synergistic effect.
Obesity – people who are overweight or obese have a higher chance of getting this chronic disease.
Diet – consumption of processed meat increases the risk of having esophageal cancer.
Acid reflux – long term erosive effect of acid reflux is linked to this type of cancer.
Male predominance – It is 7 to 10 times more frequent in men.
Injury to the esophagus – lye, a corrosive agent commonly seen in strong industrial and household cleaners such as drain cleaners can cause severe chemical burn in the esophagus.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) – it is found the up to one-third of esophageal cancer patients have found have HPV infection.
Achalasia – a condition wherein the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus does not relax properly.
Tylosis – this is a rare case to cause the esophageal cancer, tylosis is a condition which develops small growths of skin in the top layer of esophagus.
Plummer-Vinson syndrome – people with this rare syndrome are typically with anemia due to iron levels, brittle fingernails, tongue irritation, and sometime have a large thyroid gland. This is also called Paterson-Kelly syndrome.
Sources: Cancer.org, Wikipedia
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