April is recognized as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 19,000 esophageal cancer cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. Esophageal cancer is the cancer of the tube that runs from the throat to the stomach - otherwise known as the esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. It is made up of several layers of tissue, membrane, muscle, and connective tissue. Esophageal cancer starts in the lining of the esophagus and spreads outward through the layers of the esophagus as it grows.
Smoking and heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Research is now showing that exposure to asbestos may also result in esophageal cancer. Symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Weight loss without trying
- Chest pain, pressure, or burning
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn
- Coughing or hoarseness
If you are at high risk for esophageal cancer and are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended you meet with a doctor. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and have a history of working in a trade with a high risk for asbestos exposure, help starts here. Fill out a free case evaluation today.