What is Esophageal cancer
Esophageal cancer is the growth of malignant cells in the esophagus, the passageway from the throat to the stomach. If a tumor occurs in the esophagus, it prevents food from entering the stomach. Additionally, the tumor erodes the lining of the esophagus leading to painful swallowing of foods. This form of cancer affects men more often than women and occurs in adults over the age of 50.
Although the exact cause for esophageal cancer is not known, there are several risk factors for cancer cells to develop in this area of the body.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day put one at risk for developing this form of cancer.
- Drinking extremely hot coffee or tea may, over time, damage the lining of the esophagus.
- Persistent gastric reflux is associated with a greater risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Dr. Aldoroty's diagnosis typically relies on an x-ray of the region after swallowing a barium tracer, an endoscopic exam, and a biopsy of the affected area. For the endoscopic exam, the patient is under local anesthesia while a small, lighted viewing tube is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus. A sample of esophageal tissue is removed and then examined under a microscope to see if cancerous cells are present.
If cancer is present, Dr. Aldoroty will discuss several treatment options with you and your family.
- Traditional open surgery - is performed to remove the tumor;
- Radiation therapy - is used after surgery to further decrease the size of the tumor and to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body;
- Chemotherapy - may be used to treat the remaining cancer cells;
- Esophageal dilator - sometimes used to widen the opening in the blocked passageway;
- Patients who are not good candidates for open surgery may have a stent—an expandable mesh-- put into the esophagus to bypass the tumor. If this treatment is not effective, an artificial opening can be made in the stomach or in the small intestine so that food can bypass the entire esophagus;
- Painkillers and tranquilizers are usually prescribed to ease discomfort and anxiety.
Dr. Aldoroty's goal is to eliminate the cancer and to prevent the reoccurrence of malignant cells in the body.
Please contact his office to learn more about all of the individualized, complete, and advanced medical procedures available to meet your healthcare needs.
For your convenience, Dr. Aldoroty's office is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m., and by appointment.