In many cases the cancer also spreads to the windpipe, the large blood vessels in the chest, and other nearby organs. Esophageal cancer can also spread to the lungs, liver, stomach, and other parts of the body. Each year, about 11,000 Americans find out they have cancer of the esophagus” (NIC 1-3). This analysis will focus on the etiology, stages, causes, prognosis and treatment alternatives of esophageal cancer.
Like other cancers, esophageal cancer has different stages and spread to other parts of the body. Typical symptoms of esophageal cancer, which is often difficult to detect in its early stages, include one or more of the following: difficulty swallowing, vomiting blood, heartburn, drooling, breath door, regurgitation of food, chest pain unrelated to eating, weight loss. There are tests and signs that physicians use to detect the presence of esophageal cancer, including evidence of occult blood in stool, an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) and biopsy, a barium swallow, and a chest MRI or thoracic CT. When esophageal cancer is first diagnosed, tests are performed in order to demonstrate whether the cancer has moved to other parts of the body or has remained local. This is where staging of cancer comes to play a role. Staging is significant because “it tells the specialist how best the cancer should be treated. If a cancer is just in one place, then a local treatment such as surgery or radiotherapy could be enough to get rid of i