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Esophogeal Cancer

The esophagus is a part of the overall digestive tract. It basically is a tube which links the stomach and throat, resting between the trachea and the spine. The adult esophagus is typically ten inches in length on average, and when an individual swallows food the “muscular walls of the esophagus contract to push food down into the stomach. Glands in the lining of the esophagus produce mucus, which keeps the passageway moist and makes swallowing easier” (NIC 2). Like any other organ, the esophagus is comprised of a variety of cell types. In the normal healthy individual, these cells divide only when it is necessary. However, if these cells begin to multiply aside from the normal division they begin to create an excess of tissue. This growing tissue mass is a tumor and can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). When a tumor is malignant it poses the fatal threat to the individual. If the cancer is undetected or left untreated, the cancerous cells from the tumors can begin to break away and form in other parts of the body, either by invading tissues and organs near the affected area or by moving to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. When cancer spreads it is known as metastasis, “Cancer of the esophagus is also called esophageal cancer. It can develop in any part of the esophagus. If the cancer spreads outside the esophagus, it usually shows up ion the nearby lymph nodes. 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...

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Esophogeal Cancer. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:18, May 28, 2020, from