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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is esophageal cancer?
Esophageal cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, forming a part of the digestive system.
What causes esophageal cancer?
The cause of esophageal cancer, as with other cancers, is damage to cellular DNA. The exact cause of esophageal cancers is not well known. However, risk factors that are known to increase the risk of developing this condition include: tobacco and alcohol …
How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?
If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate esophageal cancer, a gastroscopy will generally be the first method of investigation. A biopsy of any suspicious area of the esophagus can also be taken. The tissue from the biopsy can then be examined …
Are there different types of esophageal cancer?
There are two main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
What is the outlook for esophageal cancer?
The prognosis for esophageal cancer depends on the type and stage of the disease, but the overall five-year survival rate from the point of diagnosis is 16%. For those who survive the first year, this increases to 35% and for those who survive the …
Can esophageal cancer be cured?
Esophageal cancer may be cured, especially if it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. However, it is important to have regular check-ups with your doctor, especially within the first five years of diagnosis, to reduce the risk of the cancer …
Can esophageal cancer be prevented?
Esophageal cancer cannot be prevented, but you can reduce your risk by not drinking excessively, quitting smoking and by maintaining a healthy weight.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 13 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1159 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Esophageal cancer