Oncological disease, characterized by proliferation of tumor formation on the wall of the esophagus, is called esophageal cancer. This type of oncology is the eighth most common, often diagnosed in people of age, but can develop in young patients. Therefore, it is so important to know what the first symptoms of esophageal cancer are.
How to recognize esophageal cancer?
To begin with, we learn what the esophagus is and what its functions are. The esophagus is a hollow organ resembling a tube with multilayered walls that connects the oral cavity with the stomach. This organ serves to move food into the stomach, which is helped by the mucus secreted by its tissues, and to prevent backward ingestion of the food lump into the pharynx and the airways.
With its apparent simplicity, the esophagus requires a delicate attitude and under the influence of various unfavorable factors, including smoking, drinking alcohol, hot drinks and dishes, can be involved in pathological processes. Cancer tumors in it begin to develop with the appearance of abnormal cells associated with mutations in DNA, which uncontrollably divide and grow. Such neoplasms not only damage the organ, but can also invade nearby tissues, spread to other areas of the body with blood and lymph flow.
Esophageal cancer first signs are often not issued at the initial stage, but already with the development of a new growth of significant size. In this case, a number of patients still register anxiety manifestations, which, however, are nonspecific and are often attributed to other pathologies - gastritis, reflux esophagitis, neurocirculatory dystonia, etc. These manifestations include:
- discomfort in the sternum, related or not associated with eating;
- burning sensation in this area.
How to recognize esophageal cancer at an early stage?
Those who are sensitive and attentive to their health will be able to detect the first signs of esophageal cancer at an early stage, which greatly increases the chances of success in treatment. The main characteristic manifestations, which immediately need to sound an alarm and refer to a specialist, are local symptoms associated with the defeat of the esophageal tissues:
- Dysphagia , not caused by mechanical, chemical or thermal trauma of the esophagus, is a complicated act of swallowing, initially not pronounced, and subsequently forcing to refuse solid food;
- a pronounced sensation of passing a lump of food through the esophagus, unpleasant sensations during eating or drinking;
- hoarseness of voice, not associated with catarrhal diseases;
- increased salivation;
- belching food after or during a meal;
- frequent hiccough;
- fits of coughing, which appear when drinking;
- bad breath.
The first symptoms of esophageal cancer, related to common manifestations associated with intoxication of the body by the products of the decay of malignant cells, include:
- a constant sense of weakness;
- fast fatiguability;
- increasing weight loss;
Highly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus
Based on the histological characteristics of tumors in this organ, they are classified into several types. More common is squamous cell carcinoma, in which flat and thin atypical cells form on the surface of the esophagus. Such a tumor often affects the middle part of the organ. If the squamous cell tumor is highly differentiated, it does not grow rapidly, its cells are prone to keratinization. In this case, the first symptoms, signs of esophageal cancer manifest gradually, metastases are observed in the later stages.
Low-grade squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus
This type of disease is characterized by the formation of non-keratinized cells, prone to rapid growth and progression. This is an aggressive form, which is characterized by a more rapid increase in manifestations and a high risk of rapid spread throughout the body. How to identify the cancer of the esophagus, determine its appearance and stage after detecting alarming symptoms, can recommend a doctor. Often, in this case, appointed X-ray or zofagoskopiya, reliably detect adverse signs in the body.
Glandular cancer of the esophagus
A tumor that starts its development in glandular cells is called glandular, another name is adenocarcinoma. Often this form of oncology is formed in the lower part of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer, the first signs of which in this case may be scarce, in some cases develops against the backdrop of a pathology such as Barrett's syndrome. Precancerous manifestations in this case can be: heartburn, vomiting with blood, abdominal pain.
The first symptoms of esophageal cancer in women
Symptoms of esophageal cancer in women do not differ from those of men, however, according to statistics, the incidence of the fair sex is several times lower. Due to the nonspecificity of the initial manifestations, the disease is often diagnosed several months after the appearance of the tumor. During this period, there can already be an outbreak of cancerous tissue beyond the esophageal walls, accompanied by such secondary signs:
- increased lymph nodes;
- change the sonority of the voice;
- bradycardia, etc.
Esophageal cancer - the first symptoms, how many live?
Esophagus cancer, the first symptoms of which are detected at an early stage, and with timely correct treatment is characterized by a very comforting prognosis. Thus, more than 90% of patients who received surgical treatment, chemo- and radiation therapy , have a five-year and more survival rate. Late diagnosed esophageal cancer has the opposite prognosis: without treatment in many patients, the lethal outcome occurs after 5-6 months, and in the treatment of five-year survival is only 10% of these patients.