FAQ - Esophageal Neoplasms
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What is the connection between malignant neoplasms and crabs?

The more common term for malignant neoplasms, cancer, is Latin for crab, and the word "carcinogen," meaning a cancer-causing agent, comes from the Greek word for crab, "karkinos." What is the connection between these two seemingly unrelated things?

Cancer, both the disease and the astronomical constellation, derive from the Latin cancer or cancrum, meaning crab. The astrological sign, of course, is said to resemble a crab and the disease was so named by the ancient Greek physician Galen (129-200 A.D.) who noted the similarity between a certain type of tumor with a crab as well—the swollen veins around the tumor resembling the legs of a crab.

Old English adopted cancer directly from Latin and used it for a variety of spreading sores and ulcers. This early sense survives in the modern word canker. From c.1000 in a manuscript called Læce Boc (Leech Book), collected in Oswald Cockayne’s Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, Vol. II, 1865:

Gemeng wið þam dustum, clæm on ðone cancer.
(Mix with the dust, smear on the cancer.)

And from Wyclif’s 2 Timothy, 1382:

The word of hem crepith as a kankir

The word was being applied specifically to the disease we today call cancer by the beginning of the 17th century. From Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Historie of the World:

Cancer is a swelling or sore comming of melancholy bloud, about which the veins appeare of a blacke or swert colour, spread in manner of a Creifish clees.

The astronomical sense of cancer is from the Latin name for the constellation of the crab. The name was known to the Anglo-Saxons, but only as a Latin name and was not assimilated into English until the Middle English period. It appears in Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni, written c.993, in a list of the constellations of the Zodiac:

Feorða • Cancer • þæt is Crabba
(Fourth, Cancer, that is the crab.)

The Anglicized name appears c.1391 in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe:

In this heved of cancer is the grettist declinacioun northward of the sonne...this signe of cancre is clepid the tropik of Somer.
(At this first point (head) of cancer is the greatest declination northward of the sun…this sign of cancer is named the tropic of summer.)

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition)  (+ info)

What is the best way to cure esophageal cancer?

My father is suffering from esophageal cancer. The cancer has affected a nerve near his throat causing him to lose his voice. Also, it has already metastasized to two other organs.

He has been treated with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy for half a year, but his cancer shows no sign of shrinking and it's gradually growing.

His doctor says he cannot surgically remove the cancer because the cancer is adjacent to nerves and important organs and such an operation will damage the adjacent areas.

Isn't there any good way to cure his cancer?

As a rule, there is no cure for esophageal cancer. There is a surgical procedure that can be performed but if it has already metastasized to other organs it's probably already too advanced. Prognosis for this time of cancer is usually 5 yrs max.....but that's for strictly esophageal cancer. Depending on what other organs are involved, that time would likely be reduced.

Because it effects the esophageous, eating can become very difficult so it's important for him to take supplements like Ensure to keep his strength. Most people with esophageal cancer lose a lot of weight.  (+ info)

What is possibly the esophageal pain I feel from my throat down to my sternum?

After just getting over the flu and having a cough, I have horrible, almost constant esophageal pain. It's a feeling as if I have swallowed a potato chip, and it's traveling down the tube. I'm only coughing up the normal amount of mucus as normal, as I smoke, but haven't much since this pain (maybe 2 at most a day). It also hurts to eat anything. What could this possibly be?

Laura P, welcome to the joys of acid reflux. Your flu may be the blame, but it may be a condition that will continue after the flu is gone.  (+ info)

What are the stages of advanced esophageal cancer?

My grandpa has just been diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer...I was wondering,what are the stages and explain what happens to the body and can they be cured or helped?
Btw,Idk what stage he has. The doctor does not know yet he only explained it was advanced.

My father was diagnosed at the beginning of January (this year, 2009) with Esophageal Cancer. He is stage 4-the last stage. They discovered his cancer when he could no longer swallow, and he had lost over 20 pounds. His cancer had already spread to the shoulders, hips, and liver when it was discoverd. He had been on reflux medicine for over 20 years, was not a drinker, and smoked for a couple years as a teenager. As of yesterday he has been given 3 weeks to live because the cancer is spreading so rapidly and has multiplied all over his liver, causing the liver not to function. He is still in the hospital as they are trying to get his heartrate back to normal (for an unknown reason it is really high, his heart is otherwise very strong). The oncologist said he will start sleeping more and more as the liver shuts down, and thats how he will go. Its a very aggressive cancer and unfortunately if its already in an advanced stage, prepare yourself for the worst. I never imagined that my dad would have such a short fight. He started his chemo 2/2/09 and now has 3 weeks left to live. I think it depends in your case if the cancer has already spread to other organs, if it hasn't then you have a much better chance at fighting it. I wish your family the best, I know too well what someone with esophageal cancer has to go through and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  (+ info)

Why does a person with esophageal cancer have a feeding tube inserted into the duodenum instead of the stomach?

A patient has esophageal cancer and must have a feeding tube inserted. The nurse tells the patient that the tube will be inserted surgically into the duodenum. The wife asks why the tube will not be inserted into the stomach. What should the nurse say?

There are two main types of esophageal cancer. The most common type of oesophageal cancer, known as adenocarcinoma, develops in the glandular tissue in the lower part of the oesophagus, near the opening of the stomach. It occurs in just over 50 percent of cases. Squamous cell carcinoma grows in the cells that form the top layer of the lining of the oesophagus, known as squamous cells. This type of cancer can grow anywhere along the esophagus. Oesophageal cancer is cancer that develops in the oesophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The oesophagus, located just behind the trachea, is about 10 to 13 inches in length and allows food to enter the stomach for digestion. The wall of the oesophagus is made up of several layers and cancers generally start from the inner layer and grow out. A flexible, narrow tube is inserted into some portion of the digestive tract and liquid formulas or liquefied foods are placed into the tube to meet the patient's nutritional needs. The feeding may be pumped into the tube or allowed to drip into the tube continuously or at scheduled feeding times. Percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy tubes (JEJ or PEJ tubes) are tubes that are put into a part of the small intestine called the jejunum. The jejunum is situated a little way after the stomach. The surgeon puts a tube through an opening in the abdomen and into the jejunum. PEJ tubes are put in using an endoscopy, like a PEG tube – (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy). This type of tube is particularly used for people who have stomach or oesophageal surgery. If the tube goes directly into the small intestine, feeds are usually given slowly all the time. There is usually a pump that controls the speed of the feed passing into the tube, rather than a drip-feed. If the feeding tube is inserted into the stomach, there has to be a period of “rest” to allow the stomach respite from working. Also, it depends on the location of the cancer in the oesophagus, which may influence the location of the jejunostomy tube.


It is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms.

The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Hope this helps
matador 89  (+ info)

What the home treatment or self treatment for esophageal spasm?

ive been suffering from this esophageal spasm lately... and it really sucks. I mean feel like i am soffucated. and even i try to relax it wont relax... pls help.

there are few treatments really, some Dr's prescribe ranitidine or omeprazole to stop you making so much stomach acid so when the spasm occurs the acid doesn't jump into your oesophagus and cause you pain.
for the spasm itself, its a case of trial and error with meds as the drugs they use are all primarily designed to be used on other conditions.
Things you can do yourself are as follows
avoid taking big gulps of fluids
avoid food + fluids that are excessively hot or cold
make sure you drink plenty at mealtimes to make food easier to swallow + digest
some people can identify specific food as triggers- your Dr can help you look into this.

also please make sure you have a medical diagnosis of oesophageal spasm before you self treat as there are many digestive disorders with similar symptoms, some harmless and some potentially very serious.  (+ info)

What are the final stages of life with esophageal cancer?

My father-in-law was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2006. After a 2-year fight and undergoing chemo and radiation treatments, we are afraid we have come to the end of the road. We have been told a number of things about how long he has, however, we have not been told what to espect when the end is near. Anyone have some insight into our preparation, or what we should expect?

My first piece of advice to you is spend as much time with him as possible. Tell him often that you are all there for him, and if he is uncomfortable talking about his condition, let it go. He needs to get it straight in his mind before he can talk about it. The best time to consider hospice care is when you can see that the doctors and hospitals really cannot do anything for him. As long as he is still aware and can make his own decisions, it is important for him to say it is time for hospice. You should also have him appoint someone as his health care proxy agent in case he is unable to make decisions. Someone who knows what he would want in certain situations. It is very hard to know "end of life" symptoms, except, they basically stop eating and drinking. They sleep all the time and are very hard to wake up. When they are awake, they are somewhat withdrawn, or they get a burst of sudden energy and talk a lot. And at the very end, the breathing gets quite irregular. I know this is a lot to think about, and it is nothing pleasant to think about. My heart truly goes out to you. I honestly feel your pain. Your father-in-law, you and your whole family will be in my prayers. Try to stay strong, but do cry when you need to. God Bless.  (+ info)

What would the treatment be for mild esophageal dysmotility?

Had an uppper GI and the radiologist said no reflux, but I did have mild esophageal dysmotility.
I have no symptoms of either GERD or esophageal dysmotility (what would that be?) Upper GI showed no reflux, hiatal hernia or stricture.

"Medical treatment of esophageal motility disorders involves the uses of agents that either reduce (anticholinergic agents, nitrates, calcium antagonists) or enhance (prokinetic agents) esophageal contractility. Despite the beneficial effect of the various drugs on esophageal motility parameters, the clinical benefit of medical treatment is often disappointing. "

Your esophagus is the inside of your throat and a 'dismotility' is a lack of a full range of motion.
I personaly would advise that you look into organic and natural foods as a basis for changing what you eat, then move on to various sugestions regarding the reduction of acid producing foods in your diet ( coffee, sugar, simple starches etc.). Good luck!!  (+ info)

Is there a national walk for esophageal cancer?

my stepfather died from esophageal cancer, and i am interested in doing a walk and raising money/awareness for the ACS and EC in particular. does anyone know of a walk that is done for esophageal cancer? i have looked online and haven't found one that is national. only local ones. i am in the philadelphia area, if that helps.

i know i could just donate money, but i think doing a walk says a little more.

There is no walk programmes arranged for Esophangeal cancer. It is mostly included in the Breast cancer awareness progammes as it is connection to that area. You can donate whatever you want to the organisations like Susan Komen or Avon Breast cancer awareness walk and let them utilise it. I hope you agree with me, as any cancer is cancer and it kills the patients. -  (+ info)

What is the basis of differing actions of antineoplastic agents on different tissue/neoplasms?

What is the basis for differing tissue- and neoplasm-specificites of antieoplastic chemotherapeutic agents? This doubt arose because considering what the pharmacokinetics of these drugs are it remains to be answered as to why a certain agent would act only in a particular tissue or neoplasm when the mechanisms they employ are so similar, e.g., various alkylating agents in spite having same action act of different tumors with differing degrees of effectiveness. Hope someone answers the question specifically. Useful links to free-text articles would also be highly appreciated. Bye. TC.

If you have thoughts on this subject, you ought to have the initiative to research it yourself.  (+ info)

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