| Thursday, June 10, 2004
| CANCER OF THE ESOPHAGUS
|i cannot help myself to study and learn more about the disease of my kid brother. I need to know some answers on how he got it and what was the risk of having it inside the body. The research that I have read is very helpful, but it has put me in despair and in a melancholic mood
"Cancer of the Esophagus is a disorder wherein the cells in the lining of the esophagus starts to multiphy and form a tumor. The tumor eventually causes narrowing and constriction of the passageway to your stomach. As with other types of cancer, the cause is unknown, though cancer of the esophagus has been linked with prolonged exposure to irritants such as tobacco smoke and alcohol."
"The Esophagus , or gullet, is the muscular tube that runs from the back of your throat though your neck and chest to your stomach.
When you swallow, the top of the trachea is temporarily closed off so that the food will go into the esophagus. Muscle contractions then move the food along the esophagus and into the stomach.
As you swallow, the back of your tongue pushes a ball of food into the Esophagus. The soft palate closes off the passageway to your nose and the top of the windpipe closes so that food cannot get into your trachea, or lower windpipe, and then into your lungs. Rhythmic contractions of the esophageal muscles sends the food down through the chest into the base of the esophagus, a muscular valve at the entrance to your stomach realxes to let the food pass through.
Difficulty swallowing or pain while swallowing is called "DYSPHAGIA". It is not a disease, but it is a symptom of nearly all diseases of the esophagus."
What are the symptoms?
"The main symptoms is difficulty or pain when swallowing that worsen rapidly. At first only solids are hard to swallow, but then liquids also become troublesome. An additional symptom is rapid progressive weight loss. Occasionally, you may belch up bloody mucus as well."
What are the risks?
"Cancers of the esophagus is very rare. Men are about twice as susceptible as women, and the risk seems to be greater for heavy smokers and drinkers who are about 50 to 60 years old.
If the condition is detected in an early stage, the chances for successful treatment are fair. Otherwise, it can spread swiftly, blocking the esophagus and spreading to vital neighborng organs. About ten percent of those who have cancer of the esophagus survive for five or more years after the condition is discovered".
What should be done?
"If food seems to stick in your throat when you try to swallow it, the doctor will probably order diagnostic tests, including "BARIUM SWALLOW X-RAY", other x-rays, a thorough examination of the esophagus by "ENDOSCOPY" and a "BIOPSY" in which a sample of tissue is removed for careful examination.
If you have cancer of the esophagus, the usual treatnment is to remove the affected part. "RADIATION THERAPHY" may be used to attempt to destroy any remaining cancer cells.If an operation is not possible, radiation theraphy will be probably be used to slow down the progress of the disease."
(Abstracted from the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSO. MEDICAL HANDBOOK by: Jeffrey R.M. KUnz, MD)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:17 AM