Oesophageal Cancer

Oesophageal Cancer

Overview

Oesophageal cancer refers to cancer that develops within the oesophagus, the tube that transports food from throat to stomach to be digested.

Classification

The two most common types of oesophageal cancer are:

  1. Adenocarcinoma – cancer that develops in the glandular cells which line the oesophagus. This type of cancer typically forms in the lower section of the oesophagus
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma – cancer which begins in squamous cells that line the oesophagus. This often develops in the middle and upper part of the oesophagus

Risk factors

Factors that cause irritation in the Oesophagus and increase the risks of oesophageal cancer are:

  • Smoking
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • High consumption of alcohol
  • Bile reflux
  • Regular consumption of hot foods
  • Oesophageal burns due to accidental and intentional swallowing of caustic materials like bleach
  • Chromosome and gene abnormalities

What are the signs and symptoms?

Usually, oesophageal cancer symptoms are not visible until it grows enough to narrow the oesophagus.

The most common signs and symptoms are

  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Blood in vomit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Cough or hoarseness of voice

Evaluation

  • Upper GI endoscopy and Biopsy
  • CT chest/ CECT abdomen
  • Whole body PET CT
  • Endoscopic USG
  • Basic blood investigations

Treatment options

Treatment for oesophageal cancer is based on the type of oesophageal cancer, its stage, patient`s overall health and treatment preferences. This may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies and immunotherapy.

Surgery is often the primary form of treatment, where part or all of the oesophagus is removed.

  • Surgery – may involve removing individual tumours, part of the oesophagus (oesophagectomy) or the entire oesophagus and upper portion of the stomach (oesophago-gastrostomy)
  • Radiation therapy – uses high-energy particles to target and destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often delivered in combination with chemotherapy and/or surgery for oesophageal cancer.
  • Chemotherapy – involves the use of anti-cancer drugs which are taken orally (by mouth) or injected into the body. Chemotherapy is often used before or after surgery for oesophageal cancer, or in people with advanced cancer that has spread beyond the oesophagus
  • Targeted therapies – focuses specifically on treating the oesophageal cancer through targeting cancer cells, and not healthy cells. Targeted therapies are often combined with chemotherapy for advanced cancers or those that don’t respond to treatment
  • Immunotherapy – uses our immune system to slow the growth of cancer cells and destroy existing cancer cells. Patient may receive immunotherapy if oesophageal cancer is advanced, has come back or has spread to other areas of the body.

What we offer in our centre

The Oesophageal cancer treatment offered in our centre includes all the above options:

  1. Surgeries including-
    • Laparoscopic/Thoracoscopic Transthoracic Esophagectomy
    • Laparoscopic Trans hiatal Esophagectomy +/- 2 or 3 field lymphadenectomy
    • Feeding Jejunostomy for advance cases.
    • Oesophageal Stenting for advanced cancers
  2. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy/ radiotherapy to downstage the tumours
  3. Adjuvant therapy chemotherapy/ radiotherapy after surgery

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A consultation with our panel of doctors, specialists and surgeons will help you determine what kind of services you may need to help diagnose and treat your condition. If you or someone in your family or friend’s circle are facing any health issues, please get in touch with us, we are here for you.