Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Esophageal Cancer Overview

What is esophageal cancer?
A person with esophageal cancer has abnormal cells in the esophagus that multiply out of control. These cells can form tumors and spread to other parts of the body. Esophageal cancer can be very difficult to treat. By the time it is detected, it has usually spread to other parts of the body. Risk factors for esophageal cancer include heavy alcohol use, smoking, and a condition called Barrett's esophagus. The cause of esophageal cancer is unknown, but genetics may play a role in determining risk.

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?
Symptoms of esophageal cancer include difficulty swallowing, vomiting after meals, vomiting blood, heartburn, chest pain, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

How does the doctor treat esophageal cancer?
Treatment for esophageal cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Continue to Esophageal Cancer Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Esophageal Cancer References
  1. Avidan B, Sonnenberg A, Schnell TG, Chejfec G, Metz A, Sontag SJ. Hiatal hernia size, Barrett's length, and severity of acid reflux are all risk factors for esophageal adenocarcinoma Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Aug;97(8):1930-6. [12190156]
  2. Lightdale CJ, Kulkarni KG. Role of endoscopic ultrasonography in the staging and follow-up of esophageal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jul 10;23(20):4483-9. [16002838]
  3. Shaheen N, Ransohoff DF. Gastroesophageal reflux, barrett esophagus, and esophageal cancer: scientific review. JAMA. 2002 Apr 17;287(15):1972-81. [11960540]
  4. Stathopoulos GP, Tsiaras N. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of esophageal cancer: management and its controversial results (review). Oncol Rep. 2003 Mar-Apr;10(2):449-54. [12579288]
  5. Wong R, Malthaner R. Esophageal cancer: a systematic review. Curr Probl Cancer. 2000 Nov-Dec;24(6):297-373. [11198836]
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