This cancer is mainly due to alcoholism and smoking, especially when these two addictions are combined. It is located on the upper third of the esophagus (15% of cases), on the middle third (50%), on the lower third (25%) and on two of the three floors (10%). The resectability rate (i.e. the possibility of performing an ablation on a part of the organ) is 10 to 40%.
Calvados and Western France have the highest incidence rates in the Western world, around 30 / 10 000 for males and 1 / 100 000 for females.
Symptoms of the disease
This cancer is characterized by digestive and extra-digestive symptoms, including :
- mechanical dysphagia, i.e. difficulty swallowing (70 90% of cases) ;
- an alteration of the general state (40% of cases) ;
- chest pain (15%) ;
- pulmonary, hepatic or bone metastases ...
Several types of treatments are used to treat this cancer.
• Surgical and endoscopic treatment : exeresis, i.e. the operation by which the tumour is removed, is the best treatment for curative purposes.
• Radiotherapy treatment : it is a logical therapy since it is a radiosensitive carcinoma, but its results remain modest.
• A combination treatment, which combines chemo and radiotherapy, can give interesting preliminary results in non-operable cancers.
• Symptomatic treatments :
- those recommended to fight against chest pain unfortunately require the use of narcotics ;
- nutritional treatment by parenteral route (i.e. via a tube that goes into the stomach) and respiratory physiotherapy may be necessary before any surgery.