Esophagus Cancer

Cancer may also occur in the esophagus, the food pipe extending from the mouth to the stomach. Certain instances of altered sensations may occur in the larynx. These may be due to the disorder itself, or for other reasons.

Hyperesthesia commonly occurs in many inflammatory disorders and means the area is far more sensitive than usual.

Paresthesia is fairly common in neurotic people who continually complain of a feeling as though a foreign body is present, or some cause of inflammation and irritation. Many of these patients may have an underlying cancer phobia. Often complete examination shows that there is no pathological cause for their fears. However, many remain unconvinced and continue to plod from doctor to doctor hoping that somebody will someday find something.

Paresthesia may also be a result of some emotional disorder, but it can be a result of paralysis of the nerves of sensation in the area.

In any event, a full examination by the doctor is worth while if these symptoms are present and causing distress.

Esophagus Cancer Treatment

Success in the treatment of this cancer is abysmally poor. As most cases are very well advanced by the time symptoms appear and when a diagnosis made, every effort is usually met with a negative result. Removal of the growth, a major surgical undertaking, at least makes the patient’s subsequent life a little easier, enabling eating and drinking without the same degree of discomfort.

Palliative radiotherapy is sometimes used from the start, especially if the cancer is considered inoperable. This will also give temporary respite. But by the time all this occurs, the cancer cells have usually spread far and wide and cell nests (metastases) have undoubtedly commenced in many other areas.

Many figures have been quoted in the medical literature over the years. In one recent series of 129 cases, only 58 were fit for surgery and of these only 20 were still alive one year after the operation. Thirty-eight per cent of cases died within one month of the operation. The remainder probably fared just as poorly. Survival figures are low

There is no clear-cut recommendation on how to avoid this form of cancer. One authority suggests: “Relatively uncommon predisposing factors arc chronic irritation of the esophagus by alcohol and tobacco.” Also, maybe the findings quoted in Lancet might suggest that one avoid the frequent drinking of extremely hot beverages.

However, with the ready use of the endoscope, more patients are subjected to this investigation, often for early and relatively minor symptoms. This is a good thing, for in this way early diagnosis of disorders is being made, enabling prompt and rapid treatment. The sooner any lesion is treated, the better the outlook. When the cancer is located in the lower part of the tube, there is a slightly better chance.