Oesophageal Cancer - Medical Negligence Solicitors - Compensation Claims

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

If you have been injured in the UK by a healthcare professional including a doctor, dentist, nurse or technician in a surgery, hospital or clinic and would like to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about Oesophageal Cancer without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims involving clinical negligence will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence. We operate using the no win no fee* scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.

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Oesophageal cancer

Oesophageal cancer happens when cells of the oesophagus mutate and form cells that grow constantly, never dying. The oesophagus is a long hollow tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach and allows food to pass through after swallowing. The cancer usually begins in the lining of the oesophagus and can occur anywhere along the oesophagus. In the US, cancer usually occurs in men and in the bottom part of the oesophagus. It is much more common in Asia and in parts of Africa.

Signs and symptoms of oesophageal cancer include the following:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Problems swallowing
  • Worsening indigestion or heartburn
  • Chest pressure or burning pain
  • Coughing or hoarseness

The exact causes of oesophageal cancer are not clear. It is felt to be secondary to mutations in the DNA of oesophageal cells. There are two main types of oesophageal cancer: adenocarcinoma, which begins in the mucus-secreting glands of the esophagus and squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the flat cells of the middle oesophagus. There are other rare types of oesophageal cancer, such as sarcoma, lymphoma, and small cell cancer.

It is believed that chronic oesophageal cancer irritation contributes to the DNA changes causing oesophageal cancer. Some irritations include:

  • Having bile reflux
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having difficulty swallowing
  • Drinking hot fluids
  • Not eating fruits and vegetables
  • Having gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Being overweight
  • Having Barrett’s oesophagus—precancerous changes
  • Having upper body radiation
  • Having a smoking history
  • Complications of oesophageal cancer as it progresses include obstruction of the oesophagus, chronic pain from spasm in the oesophagus, and bleeding in the oesophagus.

There are tests doctors can perform that help in the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. These include Endoscopy, which involves a lighted camera that looks inside the oesophagus and can take biopsies of samples of the tissue.

Staging of oesophageal cancer helps determine outcome and treatment of the cancer. Various tests go into determining the staging of oesophageal cancer, including CT scan, MRI scan or PET scan of the body. The stages of oesophageal cancer include:

  • Stage I. The cancer is only in the superficial cell layers of the oesophagus.
  • Stage II. The cancer involves deep layers of the oesophagus and possibly nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage III. The cancer is in the deepest tissues of the oesophagus and lymph nodes or nearby tissue.
  • Stage IV. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment of oesophageal cancer involves surgery to remove very small tumours or a part of the oesophagus or the part of the oesophagus nearest the stomach and part of the stomach. Surgery to remove part of the oesophagus can be very dangerous and is done as an open procedure in the OR. There is a high risk of leakage and other complications.

Radiation therapy is often used for oesophageal cancer. It can unblock a blockage of the oesophagus—at least for a period of time. Chemotherapy can get rid of cancer cells in patients with metastatic disease. While, the patient is being treated, they receive parenteral nutrition, which is nutrition provided by IV. They can also receive nutrition through tubes in the jejunum.

Often, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are combined for maximum effectiveness. While it is effective, it also increases the risk of side effects. Patients are sicker while undergoing both chemotherapy and radiotherapy but their chances of survival are greater. Radiation therapy is often done in an external beam fashion and is directed toward the oesophageal cancer an any major lymph nodes.

Even so, the rate of survival of oesophageal cancer is low. It is often found at later stages and it is an aggressive form of cancer, with few really good treatments to go with it.

Helpline 0844 332 0932