What is Esophageal Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma?Esophageal adenoid cystic carcinoma or adenoid cystic carcinoma of the esophagus is a rare type of cancer of the esophagus. It is rare cancer and is more common in women than men. It usually develops in middle-aged people. It shows a good prognosis (likely course of the disease). In very rare cases, it spread to the nearby lymph nodes and distant parts of the body thus showing a good prognosis. Esophageal adenoid cystic carcinoma is sometimes also accompanied by squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is a type of cancer that arises from the flat, thin cells of the esophagus that make up the lining of the esophagus. It is more common in developing countries. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus usually occurs in the upper and middle part of the esophagus but can occur anywhere in the esophagus.
Disease Etiology (Causes)Smoking tobacco, chewing betel nut, drinking alcohol, an unhealthy diet and drinking very hot drinks are common causes and risk factors for developing adenoid cystic carcinoma of the esophagus.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain while swallowing
- Hoarse voice (deep husky voice)
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- 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.