What is Sarcomatoid Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus?Sarcomatoid squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus results from the uncontrolled division or multiplication of the epithelial and squamous cells of the esophagus that line the inner walls of the esophagus. It tends to recur and spread to other distant parts of the body. Sarcomatoid squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is a rare type of cancer and accounts for approximately 2% of all esophageal cancers. It shows poor prognosis with a 5-year survival rate is only 15-30%.
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 sarcomatoid squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.
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
- Iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss from the tumour site
- 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.