MemorialCare Cancer Institute at:
Esophageal CancerEsophageal cancer forms in the tissues of the lining of the esophagus, the tube connecting the throat to the stomach at the beginning of the digestive system. There are two types of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma, found at the lower part of the esophagus, and squamous cell carcinoma, found in the upper part of the esophagus.
SymptomsEsophageal cancer usually does not show symptoms, some late stage symptoms may include: If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a MemorialCare Physician partner.
Causes & PreventionThe causes of esophageal cancer are unknown. You can reduce your risk for esophageal cancer by not smoking or drinking alcohol, by having a good diet, and by getting plenty of exercise.
Risk FactorsYou are at a greater risk for esophageal cancer if you:
DiagnosisAfter a physical exam and blood tests, a diagnostic image called esophagram—an X-ray taken just after drinking barium solution—can be taken to view the esophagus to detect signs of cancer. An endoscopy, a tiny light tube can also be used to look at the esophagus. A biopsy may be taken so that a pathologist can examine tissue from the esophagus under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present.
StagingIf cancer is diagnosed and before treatment begins, additional tests are performed to determine the stage of the cancer and to see if it has spread to other parts of the body.
TreatmentsMemorialCare’s experienced team of oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons conduct roundtable discussions (tumor boards) of newly diagnosed patients to make recommendations for the best course of treatment.