Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus, the hollow tube running from the throat to the stomach.

What are the signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Early on there may be no symptoms of esophageal cancer. More advanced stages may result in symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain, pressure, or burning
  • Worsening indigestion or heartburn
  • Coughing or hoarseness

Be sure to talk to you doctor if you persistently experience these symptoms, especially if you also struggle with GERD.

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

Many times, esophageal cancer is found when the symptoms listed above cause a person to visit the doctor. If cancer is suspected, several tests are used to confirm or deny its presence:

  • EGD
  • EUS
  • biopsy
  • blood tests
  • imaging tests (such as MRIs, PETs, CT scans)

How is esophageal cancer treated?

The most common methods to treat esophageal cancer include:

  • Surgery (EMR and stents)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy