Esophageal Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay

What is Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal cancer forms in the tissue that lines the esophagus; a 10-inch long, hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Esophageal cancer begins in the inner layer of the esophageal wall and grows outward. If it spreads through the esophageal wall, it can travel to lymph nodes, as well as the 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. Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, so it’s extremely important to catch it as early as possible.

The two most common types of esophageal cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma. Typically starts in the squamous cells that line the esophagus, and usually develops in the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
  • Adenocarcinoma. Usually begins in the glandular tissue in the lower part of the esophagus.

Tobacco and heavy alcohol use, as well as obesity and chronic acid reflux are risk factors for developing esophageal cancer. Typically, more men than women get esophageal cancer.

Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer

Symptoms of esophageal cancer include difficulty swallowing, unusual or unintended weight loss, chronic indigestion or heartburn, pain behind the breastbone, hoarseness in the voice or a persistent cough. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms persistently, you should consult with your doctor or schedule a consultation with one of the experts at Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology. Patients with esophageal cancer detected in the very early stages have a much better chance of recovery.

Treatment of Esophageal Cancer

A treatment plan for esophageal cancer depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, possible side effects, the patient’s preferences and overall health. If it can be determined that a tumor has not spread beyond the esophagus and lymph nodes, combining different types of treatment is often recommended. Treatment options may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offers multiple early detection and treatment options for patients with concerns of developing esophageal cancer or patients that have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, including external-beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy.

Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about esophageal cancer and esophageal cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple free-standing Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.