A gastrointestinal cancer may spread or metastasize to other organs. This ability to spread is what makes cancers so deadly because as they metastasize, they start to infiltrate and destroy normal body cells, eventually resulting in death. Hence, early detection and intervention is key for cancer curability and survivability.
There are no specific causes of oesophageal cancer; however the following increases your risk of oesophageal cancer:
Oesophageal cancer is usually asymptomatic during the early stages. Once symptoms appear, the cancer is most likely in the advanced stages and symptoms include:
Although cancer is not entirely preventable, there are certain things that make you more susceptible to it, such as
The first step in the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer is a gastroscopy.
The next steps depend on whether the lesions come back as malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). If the lesions are benign, then you will be monitored on follow-up visits. If the lesions are malignant, the following tools might be used for further diagnosis:
The results of your diagnosis will be able to identify the stage of oesophageal cancer and will help decide on the best treatment option for you.
The treatment of oesophageal cancer depends on the stage at diagnosis; these treatment options are:
These treatments can either be used by itself or in combination with each other.