Gastro-esophageal cancer also known as gastro-esophageal junction (GOJ) carcinoma emerges between the food pipe and the stomach. It is the junction where the esophagus and the stomach meet at the lower esophageal area. GOJ cancer is of three types: Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3.
Type 1 The cancer grows down from above and into the gastroesophageal junction. The normal lining of the lower end of the esophagus is replaced by mutations also called Barrett’s esophagus.
Type 2 The cancer grows at the gastroesophageal junction by itself.
Type 3 The cancer grows up into the gastroesophageal junction from the stomach upwards.
Causes Of Gastroesophageal Cancer
Most patients with GE Junction Carcinoma are males. The disease is usually predominant when they are 60 years of age. It is typically caused by tobacco, alcohol and smoking for prolonged periods. The development of this cancer slow and silent consisting of initiation stage and promotion stage.
Gastroesophageal Cancer Symptoms
Some of the symptoms surrounding gastroesophageal cancer are:
- Weight loss
- Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
- Chronic cough and regurgitation
- Respiratory fistula
- Symptoms related to Distant Disease
- Metastatic disease to lungs, central nervous system and liver
- Hypercalcemia – paraneoplastic syndrome
- Laryngeal nerve invasion
Diagnosis For Gastroesophageal Cancer
Endoscopy: A long flexible tube which has a light and a camera at the end of it is inserted into the esophagus for examination.
CT Scan: A Computerized Axial Tomography scan where are series of x-rays from different angles of the body is taken and put together.
Laparoscopy: A laparoscope is a flexible tube with optical fibres at the end of it. A small incision is made in the stomach and the laparoscope is inserted through it. The doctor obtains biopsies through this.
PET CT Scan: This is a combination of PET and CT scan. The CT scan as explained above is a series of x-rays which are put together with the help of a computer. The PET utilizes a small amount of radioactive drug which is injected into the body which detects activities of cells inside the body.