The esophagus is a 10-inch long, hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. It is part of a person’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When a person swallows, the walls of the esophagus contract to push food down into the stomach.
Cancer of the esophagus begins in the inner layer of the esophageal wall and grows outward. If it spreads through the esophageal wall, it can invade lymph nodes, blood vessels in the chest, and other nearby organs.
- Age - People between the ages of 45 and 70 are at greatest risk.
- Gender - Men are three to four times more likely than women to develop esophageal cancer.
- Tobacco Use
- Alcohol Use
Signs and Symptoms:
- Difficulty and pain with swallowing, particularly when eating meat, bread, or raw vegetables (As the tumor grows, it can block the pathway to the stomach. Even liquid may be painful to swallow.)
- Pressure or burning in the chest
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Frequent choking on food
- Unexplained weight loss
- Coughing or hoarseness
- Pain behind the breastbone or in the throat
For more information about cancer prevention/ detection, treatment options, ongoing research or support programs, please call the Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at 440-205-5755.
Information received from Cancer.net
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