As with other types of cancer, early detection of esophageal cancer is critical to ensuring a positive treatment outcome.
Esophageal Cancer: Early Detection
The challenge is that symptoms of esophageal cancer often do not appear until the cancer is more advanced. In addition, doctors generally do not recommend cancer screening for esophageal cancer. However, making lifestyle changes and monitoring chronic conditions can help prevent esophageal cancer.
Esophageal Cancer Prevention: Lifestyle Changes
You can take steps today to lower your risk of getting esophageal cancer. Lifestyle changes include:
- STOP smoking and limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume.
- Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
- Set up a regular exercise plan, which may help lower your risk by preventing obesity. Obesity is a known risk factor for esophageal cancer.
- Monitor conditions such as chronic heartburn (GERD) or Barrett's esophagus. Work with your doctor to treat your symptoms and monitor any cell changes that may occur as a result.
GERD And Barrett's Esophagus: Increased Risk For Esophageal Cancer
If you have increased risk factors for esophageal cancer, such as GERD or Barrett's esophagus, your doctor will monitor you closely for early signs of esophageal cancer. Monitoring the condition of your esophageal cells may help identify suspicious cells that could lead to esophageal cancer and, if necessary, allow early treatment of those symptoms.