Esophagus is a long and muscular tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach. Esophagus carries food you swallow to your stomach to be digested. Esophageal cancer is a cancer that occurs in the esophagus.Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer is classified into two major types: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, depending on the type of cells that are malignant or cancerous.
1. Squamous cell carcinomas: It is usually occur in the upper and middle division of the esophagus.
2. Adenocarcinomas: It is generally develops in the glandular tissue in the lower part of the esophagus. The treatment for both types of esophageal cancer is similar
Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer
There are many signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer. At early stage, esophageal cancer may not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, the most common symptoms are:
• Food gets stuck in the esophagus and food may come back up
• Pain when swallowing
• Pain in the chest or back
• Weight loss
• A hoarse voice or cough
Esophageal Cancer Prognosis/Life Expectancy
Life expectancy of the patient suffering from esophagus cancer depends upon the stage in which the disease is caught and the aggressiveness of the cancer. The 5 year survival rate for the patients with esophagus cancer 1st stage will be between 50-80%. There are two kinds of 2nd stage esophagus cancer. In the case of 2nd stage A of cancer, the 5 year survival rate of the patient is between 30-40% and with 2nd stage B, the survival rate is between 10-30%. When the patient is diagnosed with esophageal cancer 3rd Stage, then the 5 year survival rate will be between 10-15%. During the stage IV of esophagus cancer, the cancer would have started to spread to all the other parts of the body. In the 4th stage of cancer, the five year survival rate goes down to less than 5%.
Listed below are some clinical trials investigating new treatments for Esophageal Cancer.