Cancer of the esophagus occupies the sixth place in the world in mortality from malignant tumors. The main signs of pathology are a pain in the esophagus and difficulty swallowing. If neoplasms detected in the early stages, there is an excellent chance for a full recovery. The disease can occur at any age, but most often, it occurs in older people over 60 years of age.
The leading causes of cancer of the esophagus include:
- abuse of cigarettes and alcohol;
- burns and injuries of the esophagus;
- improper nutrition (nitrates, pickled dishes);
- gastroesophageal reflux (the process of the reverse movement of the contents of the stomach into the throat).
It should be noted that people who abuse cigarettes and alcohol are 35 times more likely to suffer from cancer of the esophagus.
Consult a doctor if the following symptoms appear:
- bad breath, which is impossible to get rid of;
- problems with swallowing, difficulty in passing food (overtime, dysphagia increases);
- pain in the chest;
- loss of strength and fatigue;
- cough due to the spread of cancer to the bronchi and trachea.
If one or more symptoms appear, it recommended consulting a doctor immediately. The main methods for diagnosing cancer of the esophagus include:
- Endoscopy with biopsy;
- X-ray examination of the esophagus;
- General and biochemical analysis of blood;
- CT scan of the chest.
Surgery has been and remains the most effective cancer treatment. But the choice of treatment largely depends on the stage of the disease, the general health of the patient, his age, the presence of joint ailments. To compile a complete picture of the disease, diagnostic laparoscopy prescribed. This diagnostic method allows you to examine the patient's abdominal cavity without large incisions. Thanks to diagnostic laparoscopy, the nature of neoplasms and the number of affected areas are most accurately assessed. Also, such a study allows you to take tissue for research and prescribe the optimal treatment based on the data.
The volume and type of surgery depend on the size of the tumor and its location:
- The tumor may be located in the lower or middle third of the esophagus. In this case, a transthoracic surgery or transthoracic esophagectomy performed.
- When prescribing radical surgical treatment (complete removal of cancer of the esophagus), the removal of possible areas of metastasis (lymph nodes) performed.