Esophagus is the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract that connects the mouth to the stomach. Your esophagus is not fully equipped to handle stomach acids, so when the stomach acids constantly regurgitate to the esophagus, its lining gets damaged, which creates a series of destructive changes leading to Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancers.
There are two main types of esophageal cancers - Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
About half of the patients with esophageal cancers do not report any symptoms. Therefore, it is very important to undergo periodic medical checkups to find out cancers at an early stage, when it has not progressed to a point where it is incurable.
The diagnosis of esophageal cancer starts with a review of your symptoms and medical history and carrying out a thorough physical examination by your doctor. To save time and your financial resources, the investigations are carried out in a specific order.
It is important to know how far the malignant cells have penetrated into the esophagus and where it is located to treat cancer appropriately. In the beginning, the malignant cells usually invade only the superficial layers of the esophagus and, therefore, are easier to cure. As it advances, the cancerous cells start penetrating the deeper layers of the esophageal wall. It may even invade the lymph nodes and other organs with further progression. When cancer is limited to the superficial stage, it is called the early stage of the disease. When it reaches the deeper layers of the esophagus or reaches the lymph nodes, it is called a locally advanced disease. When it reaches the distant organs, it is said to be in later stages. There are various modalities used to treat cancer of the esophagus, including esophagectomy, endoscopic mucosal resection, photodynamic therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. These can sometimes be used in combination. The preferred treatment option depends upon the stage of cancer and the depth of its penetration.
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai specializes in the treatment of many cancers. Our healthcare team discusses the treatment options with its risk and benefits to the patient's family and together curates the best plan for his condition. The surgeries testing esophageal cancers are quite challenging to perform and demand a multidisciplinary approach and expertise and precision by the surgeon. They can only be done in a big, well-equipped hospital-like Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai with a multidisciplinary team proficient of addressing all the problems that the surgery can manifest and are comfortable dealing with any potential complications.