What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus?Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus originates from the thin flat cells that line in the inner wall of the esophagus. It usually develops in the upper and middle part of the esophagus. Squamous cell cancer of the esophagus is a high grade or aggressive cancer and most common in Asian people. Aggressive cancers are the cancers that that grows rapidly invade the local tissues and spread to the distant parts of the body from its site of origin. The survival rate of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is poor as the 5- year survival rate is 24%.
Disease Etiology (Causes)There is no well-known cause; however, Smoking tobacco, chewing betel nut, drinking alcohol, unhealthy diet, chronic gastro-esophageal 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 sulfate, and then a series of X-rays are taken to see the esophagus and stomach to find a tumor.
- Endoscopy with tumor 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 tumor.
TreatmentIn early cases, when the tumor is confined to a specific part of the esophagus and does not metastasize to other parts of the body, surgical resection (surgical removal of the tumor and affected part of the esophagus) is the main treatment option. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are treatment options for advanced stage of the squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.
What Support can we Give for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus?Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Esophagus, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways:
Donations — Without a Ribbon is grateful when we receive every donation. Giving to Without a Ribbon helps us to provide ongoing support, organise the annual gathering and subsidise the costs of our Warriors attending these conferences.
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Volunteering — We are always looking for volunteers to help with different aspects of running our charity. So, if you are looking for volunteer work, please feel free to contact us.