What is Esophageal Adenocarcinoma or Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus?Esophageal adenocarcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is the most common type of cancer of the esophagus (food pipe) that originates from the mucus-secreting cells or glands present in the esophagus. It commonly develops in the lower part of the food pipe also named as esophagus. The prognosis and the survival rate of the disease depend upon the size, extent and spread of the tumour. However, overall 4-year survival rate is 20%.
Disease Etiology (Causes)There is no well-known cause; however, Smoking tobacco, chewing betel nut, drinking alcohol, unhealthy diet, chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease and drinking very hot drinks are the risk factors for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
- Chest pain
- The feeling of pressure on the chest
- Burning in chest, heartburn
- Hoarseness of voice
- Hematemesis (vomiting of blood)
- Coughing while eating and drinking
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Barium meal: This is a procedure in which the patient is asked to swallow a radio-contrast agent, commonly known as barium sulphate, and then a series of X-rays are taken to see the esophagus and stomach to find a tumour.
- Endoscopy with tumour biopsy: Endoscopy is a procedure in which an endoscope is used to see the internal hollow organs of the body to detect the pathology or disease.
What is an Endoscope?It is an illuminated instrument that is used to see tube-like hollow organs of the body to detect pathology or disease.
- Ultrasonography (USG), Computerized tomography (CT-scan), and positron emission tomography (PET-scan) are the imaging diagnostic techniques that can be used to detect the site, size, and extent of the tumour.