Esophageal Cancer is Treated at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore

Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

At Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy, our medical oncologists diagnose and treat esophagus disorders including esophageal cancer. At Mercy, our doctors take a multidisciplinary approach to provide the best individual treatment options for treating esophageal cancer.

About the Condition

Esophageal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the esophagus, a long hollow tube that connects the throat to the stomach, permitting food to pass. According to the American Cancer Society, esophageal cancer is more common among men than women in the United States.

Types of Esophageal Cancer

There are two types of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer is the most familiar type of esophageal cancer. This form of cancer occurs in the glandular cells in the lining of the esophagus.  Most often, adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer happens in the lower part of esophagus near the stomach.

Squamous cell esophageal cancer occurs in the flat cells located along the esophagus, and is mostly located in the upper and middle portion of the esophagus.

What are the risk factors for Esophageal Cancer?

If you are African American, you are more likely to be diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, and if you are Caucasian, adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer is more common. Other risk factors that may exasperate the esophagus and cause esophageal cancer may include:

  • GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Overuse of alcohol or tobacco
  • Overweight
  • Barrett’s disease
  • Achalasia
  • Tylosis
  • Diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Smoking
  • Radiation treatment
  • Age 55 and older
  • Male
  • Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

In the early stages, esophageal cancer symptoms present as typical digestive disorders. The most familiar symptom of esophageal cancer is trouble swallowing. Other symptoms may include heartburn, indigestion, pain in the chest or throat, chronic cough, choking sensation when eating, or weight loss.

Diagnosis of esophageal cancer is performed by using series of tests and diagnostic procedures such as the following:

  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • PET/CT
  • X-rays
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Several factors are considered in planning your individual treatment options at Mercy Medical Center for esophageal cancer. These options include the type of esophageal cancer, cancer stage and total health. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and clinical trials.