|Cancer of the esophagus occurs 2 to 3 times more often in men than women and its peak age of incidence is between the ages of 50 and 60 years.|
Difficulty in swallowing is the main symptom. Solid foods cause the early difficulty and so loss of weight from lack of food is an early sign. Later on the patient finds it difficult to even swallow fluids.
Pain appears early in the condition and is related to swallowing.
In the late stages of the cancer pain in the chest can become constant.
The cause of cancer of the esophagus is unknown but smoking and heavy use of alcohol appear significant.
Most cancers of the esophagus are detected relatively late so that radiotherapy is the commonest method of treatment.
If the cancer is detected early and is in the bottom half of the esophagus, surgery is the best treatment.
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