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Oesophageal Cancer - what is it?


Esophageal cancer is cancer arising from the esophagus—the food pipe that runs between the throat and the stomach.[2] Symptoms often include difficulty in swallowing and weight loss.[1] Other symptoms may include pain when swallowing, a hoarse voiceenlarged lymph nodes ("glands") around the collarbone, a dry cough, and possibly coughing up or vomiting blood.[1] #awareness #esophaguscancer #prevention #iamstillawoman #cancer
Esophageal cancer
SynonymsOesophageal cancer
Diagram showing oesophageal cancer that has spread (M staging) CRUK 175.svg


What is oesophageal cancer?

Oesophageal cancer (or esophageal cancer – U.S spelling) is a malignant tumour found anywhere in the oesophagus. In Australia it is most commonly found in the lower section of the oesophagus, adjoining the stomach. The main types of oesophageal cancer are:
  • Squamous cell carcinoma which starts in the cells that line the oesophagus. (This is more common in Asia.)
  • Adenocarcinoma which starts in the glandular tissue of the cells lining the oesophagus.
In 2014 there were 1457 new cases of oesophageal cancer diagnosed in Australia.
In 2015, there were 1329 deaths from oesophageal cancer in Australia.

Oesophageal cancer symptoms

Oesophageal cancer is slow- growing and usually detected in advanced stages, as there may not be any symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms of oesophageal cancer may include:
  • pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • heartburn
  • vomiting blood
  • black or bloody stools
  • unexplained fatigue
  • feeling of choking when swallowing
  • discomfort in the upper abdomen particularly when eating
  • weight loss.

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