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Listed amongst the 6th most common cancers in the world, oesophageal cancer is a malignancy that develops in the oesophagus, which serves as a passage for food from the mouth to the stomach.
Symptoms that point towards the prevalence of oesophagus cancer include:
Oesophageal cancer is a result of undesired mutations in the DNA of the oesophageal cells, which compel them to grow and multiply very rapidly. These cells gradually accumulate and result in the formation of a tumour.
Various factors that increase the risks of esophageal cancer include:
Various modalities available for the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer include:
Surgery – The aim of the surgery is to remove the tumour along with some healthy tissues, to negate the risks of recurrence.
Chemotherapy – It uses special drugs, that are given orally or intravenously, to target rapidly-growing cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may also be used in combination with radiation therapy to treat cancers that have not yet metastasized. This is referred to as chemoradiation.
Radiation therapy – It used x-ray beams of high intensity to target the cancerous cells. This may be given before the surgery, to reduce the size of the tumour, and after the surgery to destroy cancerous cells that were left behind during the surgery. These radiations may be given externally, using a special radiation machine, or from within, using certain radiation-emitting substances.
Immunotherapy – It involves the use of certain drugs that help to boost the body’s immune system and is usually recommended to patients with advanced oesophageal cancer.