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Esophageal cancer

Esophageal cancer or esophageal carcinoma is the malignant tumor of the esophagus (food-pipe). More types of the diseases exist, the far most frequent types of it are: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma is an abnormality originating from the upper part of the esophagus, while adenocarcinoma, a malignant cell-proliferation, originates from glandular cells found at the borderline of the stomach and the esophagus.
The leading symptoms of esophageal cancers are dysphagia (difficulty with swallowing) and pain. Presence of the disease is usually proved by biopsy.

The tiny and well circumscribed abnormalities are treated with surgical intervention while bigger tumors are proven to be inoperable hence they are incurable. But growing of them can be limited with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
In certain cases due to the above mentioned intervention, the cancer becomes operable. The disease has a bad prognosis.


FDG PET-CT examination in case of esophageal cancer

  • In case of this disease PET-CT is more suitable for determining the primary stage and detecting distant metastases than other imaging techniques.
  • PET-CT can also be well applied for the assessment of therapeutic response (was the medication effective?) during the treatment of esophageal cancer and for discovering the possible local recurrence after therapy.
  • If the disease is treated with external radiation therapy, PET-CT can provide important information on accurate assignment of the cancer area.


However in primary diagnosis of the cancer, in follow-up and stage identification assessment of "cured" patients after therapy and in regular follow-up PET-CT does not have any significance in providing additional information.