Esophageal Cancer

Oesophageal cancer is the cancer of food pipe (oesophagus) that arises when normal oesophagus cells start growing abnormally (uncontrolled manner) due to various reasons. The oesophagus (food pipe) is an important part of digestive system that carries food from mouth to stomach. It is positioned behing the windpipe (pipe / trachea that connects lungs to nose cavity) and in front of the spine. There is a lower part of the oesophagus that joins the stomach which is called gastro-oesophageal junction (GOJ). There is a ring of muscle close to the GOJ which controls food moving from the oesophagus into the stomach.

esophageal cancer is known to be occurring is elderly majority of the time. However in India, we observe growing incidences of esophageal cancer in younger population as well. According to report of Globocan 2018, over 52000 new cases of esophageal cancer are found in India every year. Approximately 46,000 die every year. The incidences are on the rise and expected to rise significantly by 2022 which is a matter of concern.

The most common symptoms of esophageal cancer are as follows.

Like in case of stomach cancer, food intake gets highly compromised in case of esophageal cancer and patient looses weight significantly. He is starved badly and sometimes it is difficult for doctor to recommend any treatment as patient does not remain in a position and capacity to take it comfortably. Treatment of esophagus is critical as the structure plays very vital function in the body and it is closely surrounded by various other important structures. Surgery, Radiation therapy and Chemotherapy are recommended in right proportion, at right time and right stage to treat esophageal cancer. Video assisted thoracic surgery has become a gold standard and it has replaced open surgery in many in India in esophageal Cancers.