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n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Carcinoma of the oesophagus : main article
Cancer of the oesophagus is the third leading cancer in males, comprising about 5.6% of all cases in males, and 4th most common in females, comprising 3% of all cancers.
Patients present with difficulty in swallowing, loss of weight, and backache.
Essential investigations should include a barium swallow, endoscopy and a CT scan of the chest and upper abdomen for local extent, extra-oesophageal spread, nodal disease and liver involvement.
Early referral to a specialist centre by the general physician would help in proper treatment selection.
Treatment can be palliative (80%) or curative (20%). Treatment should be individualised for each patient.
The choice of treatment depends on expertise and facilities available, tumour and patient factors and local economics.
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