ABC Medical Center > Esophageal cancer

What is Esophageal cancer?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It occurs when there are cell mutations in the tissue structures of the esophagus, causing uncontrolled development and multiplication, which triggers the appearance of tumors that can spread to other areas of the body.

This is a common type of cancer and one of the seven causes of death from cancer worldwide. It can appear in any part of the esophagus, mainly affecting men and having the following potential risks:

  • Drinking very hot drinks.
  • Diet low in fiber and vegetables.
  • Radiotherapy in the thoracic area.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Barrett’s esophagus.
  • Overweight and obesity.

There are several types of esophageal cancer, including adenocarcinoma, which is the most common; carcinoma, lymphoma, melanoma, and sarcoma.

Signs and symptoms Esophageal cancer

In its initial stages, esophageal cancer does not usually show symptoms, but as it progresses, the following symptoms begin to appear:

  • Chest pain.
  • Tightness and irritation in the chest.
  • Constant heartburn.
  • Coughing fits.
  • Progressive dysphagia.
  • Decreased body weight.

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately because they could be warning signs of Barrett’s esophagus, which is a condition considered to be at high risk for developing cancer.

Also, remember that cancer can be curable if diagnosed and treated early.

An advanced esophageal cancer causes a series of complications, among which the following stand out:

  • Constant sharp pain.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Obstructed esophagus that prevents swallowing.

Diagnosis and treatment Esophageal cancer

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, he or she will perform a physical examination and request a series of tests to establish an accurate diagnosis, such as endoscopy, biopsy, endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography, and positron emission tomography (PET).

Once esophageal cancer has been diagnosed, the treatment to follow will depend on the degree of progress, the type of tumor, and your health conditions, but the most frequent include:

  • Surgery to remove tumors and affected tissues.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiotherapy.
  • Immunotherapy.

Since its opening in 2009, our Cancer Center offers chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments at the level of the best medical centers in the world through a comprehensive care model for cancer patients.

We include the most innovative therapies in chemotherapy in facilities specially designed for your comfort and peace of mind. In radiotherapy procedures, we provide you with evidence-based treatment plans discussed with experts from Houston Methodist Hospital, using state-of-the-art technological equipment in state-of-the-art facilities.


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  • medigraphic.com
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  • Cabrera JP, Caselli BE, Elgueta ML, et al. Rechazo o no realización de tratamiento en pacientes con diagnóstico de cáncer de esófago. Acta Cient Estud. 2008;6(2):53-58.
  • Barrera OJC, Mederos CON, Castellanos GJA, et al. Tratamiento paliativo en el cáncer de esófago y cardias. Cir Gen. 2018;40(1):17-23.
  • Cintra BST, Cintra PA, Cintra PS. Cáncer de esófago. Revisión actualizada. RIC. 2016;95(4):635-646.

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