A-545 A. Diagnosis
M. Krokidis | Monday, March 11, 08:30 – 10:00 / Room E1
Oesophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. More than 90 % of oesophageal cancers are either squamous-cell carcinomas or adenocarcinomas. Approximately, three quarters of all adenocarcinomas are found in the distal oesophagus, whereas squamous cell carcinomas are more evenly distributed between the middle and lower third. The cervical oesophagus is an uncommon site of disease. The pathogenesis of oesophageal cancer remains unclear. At the time of the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, more than 50 % of patients have either unresectable tumours or visible metastases on imaging. The most common symptom of presentation is dysphagia which is present in >70% of the cases; odynophagia may also be present in a smaller percentage of patients. The patients are usually presented also with significant weight loss which appears to be also an important prognostic factor of the outcome of the disease. Diagnosis is based on the findings of a contrast swallow- which is usually the first exam to be performed; oesophageal cancer may present as polypoid, infiltrative, varicoid, or ulcerative lesions. Endoscopy usually confirms the findings of the swallow study, revealing the presence of a mass and offering the possibility of taking biopsy samples. Endoscopic ultrasound is the imaging method that is used for local staging and CT and PET-CT are used to determine the presence of metastatic disease. In case of presence of enlarged lymphnodes, fine needle aspiration or even open biopsy may be performed.