Oesophageal cancer ranks 6th among the causes of cancer deaths worldwide. It is also known as silent cancer due to the absence of obvious symptoms in the early stages, usually until dysphagia. It is usually too late if you start to show symptoms such as cough and phlegm. Prevention is better than cure. So it is important to understand the causes and symptoms of oesophageal cancer, to avoid and prevent this invisible killer from finding home.

Symptoms of oesophagus cancer

Oesophageal cancer can occur anywhere in the oesophageal tract and is usually more likely in men than in women. Symptoms include dysphagia, weight loss without intentional weight loss, chest pain or burning sensation, indigestion or burning stomach, cough, hoarseness, etc. If you have the above symptoms for a long time or have a backflow of gastric acid, please consult a doctor for further examination immediately.

Causes of oesophageal cancer

Chronic irritation of the oesophageal tract is believed to increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, including obesity, gastrooesophageal reflux Disease (GERD), achalasia, unable to swallow normally, or a counter flow of bile. In addition, smoking and drinking hot drinks are factors that stimulate the esophagus.

Types of oesophageal cancer

There are two types of oesophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma often occurs in the upper and middle sections of the esophagus. The main causes of disease are diet, smoking, drinking, hot drinks, etc. Oesophageal adenocarcinoma often occurs on glands at the junction of the esophagus and stomach. It is associated with obesity and reverse flow of the gastroesophag.

Complications from oesophagus cancer cause obstruction of the esophagus, food and liquid will be difficult to pass through the esophagus, pain in the late stages, and even bleeding may occur. It has to be said that, unless it is clogged in late stages, it is not easy to detect early clinical symptoms. Therefore, for those who prefer to drink alcohol or have liver disease who already have previous oesophagus damage, it is important to raise vigilance to prevent this.

We can reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer by establishing good habits

Quit smoking: You can seek a doctor and a combination of drugs to help you quit smoking.
Appropriate drinking: For women of all ages and men over 65 years, it is recommended to drink up to 1 cup per day and for men under 65 years of age only 2 cups per day.
In addition, eating more vegetables and fruits and maintaining a standard weight range are factors that reduce risk.

Methods of screening for oesophageal cancer

This is usually diagnosed through endoscopy of the gastric tract and oesophageal peristaltic pressure to check for cancer cells or areas that are often irritated. In Taiwan, please remember to accept the National Health Agency’s plan, at a certain age, to undergo regular health checkups and pay attention to the health of you and your friends before the condition deteriorates.

Read: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Diagnosis and treatment