Early identification of esophageal dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing, It could prevent the appearance of serious manifestations such as cancer of esogafo. According to American Cancer Society, dysphagia is the most characteristic symptom of this type of cancer, so its early diagnosis is essential to avoid this serious pathology.
Gastroenterologists must be very careful to identify esophageal dysphagia early and thus prevent this type of cancer from appearing. This was evidenced by the Dr. Ivan Antúnez, gastroenterologist, in an interview with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health (MSP).
“Patients who have difficulty swallowing, we gastroenterologists have to have malice and insight to be sure that it is not the trigger for a frequently occurring esophageal tumor. (…) A person who has difficulty swallowing or dysphagia is not normal. No person who has difficulty swallowing should ignore it, You should seek help and we, in the patient’s history, must treat which of these causes is causing the difficulty in swallowing, because each one has a different management, “explained Dr. Antúnez.
According to the specialist, cancers that are closer to the stomach are usually related to reflux and it is a different type of cancer than squamous cancers and that are more related to tobacco and alcohol consumption.
The American Cancer Society states that esophageal dysphagia is often mild at first, but worsens over time as the cancer grows and the opening inside the esophagus becomes smaller.
Dysphagia: fairly common gastrointestinal pathology
Dr. Antúnez considers that a significant percentage of patients at some point in their life face the symptoms of dysgafia. So you should be alert to the symptoms to take precautionary measures.
“The gastrointestinal condition most commonly seen by gastroenterologists is gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux is a very prevalent and common condition, I would say that all human beings at some point in their lives will have some symptoms of burning sensation in the esophagus. That feeling that food or acid comes back and burns you and one of the complications could be dysphagia and dysphagia could be for multiple reasons. The main one would be for the esophagus to ulcerate, injure itself and can cause the tissue to heal and narrow the area of the esophagus, “said the doctor.
Diagnosis of pathology
Like all diseases, early diagnosis is one of the most effective methods to control comorbidities, symptoms and manifestations of different pathologies. Such is the case of dysphagia that can be diagnosed with an endoscopy.
“Almost every time a patient has dysphagia, they will probably end up in an endoscopy by the gastroenterologist to evaluate this tissue. The most common causes such as reflux, as we will almost always know from history, including eosinophilic esophagitis -another gastrointestinal pathology- implies that I make an evaluation of the esophagus, look at it, see if it has ulcerations, see if there are reflux cation, “said Dr. Antúnez.
Eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms
This gastrointestinal pathology is not common and was recently recognized as a pathology. However, some people who think they have gastroesophageal reflux may have eosinophilic esophagitis.
“Patients who have eosinophilic esophagitis can have from no change and look normal, to changes that are very characteristic of the condition and leads to biopsies of the esophagus to make the diagnosis, “said the gastroenterologist.
Treatment for these pathologies
Dr. Antúnez has extensive experience in the management of gastrointestinal disorders and ended the conversation with MSP urging patients with these diseases to implement healthy lifestyle habits and strictly follow the treatments prescribed by health professionals for these conditions.
“Reflux is the most common reason why we gastroenterologists see patients. Treatment basically depends on the symptoms and the findings we have. It is treated with medications that inhibit acid secretion in a powerful way for that tissue to heal to avoid complications. The most important thing about reflux is that it involves changes in lifestyles and whenever we have reflux it is related to eating behavior or toxic habits. So apart from the fact that the doctor can give you a good medicine, it will always entail that the patient make lifestyle changes in his diet and habits. For example, not going to bed after eating, not eating three or four hours before going to bed, avoiding large amounts of food intake, ”concluded Dr. Antúnez in an interview with MSP.