The oesophagus is a tube-like organ that runs from the neck to the chest and connects to the stomach in the upper abdomen. It is responsible for transporting food from the mouth to the stomach. In patients with cancer of the oesophagus, the innermost lining of the oesophagus (or food pipe) develops a malignant (cancerous) lump or tumour. It then spreads outwards, lengthwise, and circumferentially, making swallowing increasingly difficult. According to Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, who is considered to be the best surgical oncologist in Kolkata, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are the two most common types of oesophageal cancer; the latter usually affects the lower part of the oesophagus near the stomach.
Oesophageal Cancer Signs
- Weight loss
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Pain behind your breastbone
- Blood in vomit or black stools
- Hoarseness and cough
Chronic oesophageal discomfort is thought to play a role in the DNA changes that lead to oesophageal cancer. The following factors irritate the cells of the oesophagus and raise the risk of oesophageal cancer:
- Alcohol consumption
- Consumption of very hot liquids
- Bile reflux
Staging of Oesophageal Cancer
When a patient is diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, the onco surgeon in Kolkata works to assess the cancer’s extent (stage). The stage of the cancer helps assess treatment options, and CT and PET scans are two tests used to stage oesophageal cancer.
Stage 1: This cancer develops in the cells that line the oesophagus’s surface layers.
Stage 2: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and has invaded deeper layers of the oesophagus lining.
Stage 3: It indicates that cancer has spread to the oesophageal wall’s deepest layers, as well as surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.
Stage 4: It is the point when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Oesophageal Cancer Treatment
Treatment for oesophageal cancer is determined by the type of cells responsible for the cancer, the stage of the cancer, the general health of the patient, and his treatment preferences.
Dr. Sanjoy Mandal is a specialist when it comes to surgical removal of the cancer. Either the subtotal or total oesophagus and adjacent lymph nodes are removed during surgery. This can be accomplished using either a traditional open technique or a minimally invasive technique (keyhole surgery). Later procedures can be carried out with the aid of the da Vinci Robot. Faster recovery and smaller incisions are the advantages of minimally invasive surgery.
The stomach is turned into a tube and carried up in the chest or neck and anastomosed (connected) to the proximal cut-end of the oesophagus after surgical removal of the oesophagus. The average length of stay in the hospital is 10 to 12 days, says the cancer specialist in Kolkata.