DEATHS - 14,500
Researchers Home in on Genetic Signature of Esophageal Cancer
ScienceDaily (May 20, 2011)
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have pinpointed two genes that are amplified in the worst cases of esophageal cancer, providing data to support a new investigational treatment that targets those same genes.
The study, led by Tony Godfrey, Ph.D., a
research associate professor of Surgery at the James P. Wilmot
Cancer Center at URMC, was published by the journal Clinical
Cancer Research. It explores the chromosomal abnormalities that
influence poor survival rates of esophageal adenocarcinoma
(EAC), the more common type of esophageal cancer which occurs at
the junction of the stomach and esophagus.
Considered uncommon 20 years ago, the
incidence of EAC has grown faster than any tumor type in the
United States, Godfrey said. Health authorities believe high
rates of obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
contribute to the rising numbers. And despite more awareness,
early detection, and newer combinations of cancer therapies,
overall survival of esophageal adenocarcinoma ranges from 70
percent to 80 percent for early-stage patients to only 5 percent
to 20 percent for stage 3 or 4 patients. Since most cases are
discovered when the cancer has already spread, EAC is often a
Please click here to read more ---->Genetics
and Espogheal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer in the United States. It is more prevalent in southern Africa, Iran, India and northern China where the incidence of the disease may be up to 100 times more than that in the United States. It was, in fact, in China that the first recorded case of esophageal cancer was found, some 2,000 years ago.
Esophageal cancer develops in the esophagus, which is a muscular tube that connects the oropharynx to the stomach. The length of esophagus is
approximately 25 cm. For a normal adult, the diameter of the esophagus at its smallest point is three quarters of an inch.
Esophageal cancer is a treatable and curable disease. The problem often lies in how to detect the disease while it is still at an early stage. Most cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, since it is usually at this juncture that the symptoms of esophageal cancer manifest themselves.
The two main types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The former used to account for most cases of esophageal cancer.
Recent research has found, however, that squamous cell carcinomas now account for less than 50% of esophageal cancers.
Squamous cell carcinoma can start just about anywhere along the esophagus, since squamous cells line the entire esophagus.
On the other hand, adenocarcinoma develops in glandular tissue. It often occurs near the stomach, in the lower esophagus. It develops only when
glandular cells replace an area of squamous cells.
There are many signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer. If you experience any of the symptoms of esophageal cancer, consult your doctor. Unfortunately, the disease is often diagnosed when the disease has advanced, limiting treatment options.
1. Unintentional Weight Loss
If you aren't trying to lose weight and have noticed you have been or are losing weight, you should consult your doctor. Unintentional
weight loss can mean many things, but it is better to have it checked out.
2. Pain and/or Difficulty Swallowing
Pain or difficulty in swallowing is one of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer. The throat feels irritated or with pressure. This symptom is not associated with flu or flu related illnesses. The pain or difficulty swallowing related with esophageal cancer does not go away.
If your voice is hoarse, or you feel like you have to often clear your throat, you should get checked out by a doctor. This symptom of esophageal cancer is also that of many other illnesses, so a consult is necessary.
4. Persistent Cough
Having a cough that does not go away is a symptom of esophageal cancer.
6. Feeling Like Food is Stuck in Throat or Chest
In certain cases of esophageal cancer, the esophagus narrows, thus reducing the amount of space foods have to travel down to the stomach. The sensation of food being stuck in the throat or chest is that of esophageal cancer.
7. Hiccups with Pain or Difficulty Swallowing
If you often have the hiccups and also have pain or difficulty swallowing, you need to see a doctor. These two condition when experienced together
may be a symptom of esophageal cancer.
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