Cancer of the Esophagus
Jane Green of the University of Oxford in England and colleagues online in BMJ. While previous research has not found such a connection between osteoporosis drugs and cancer, this most recent study tracked patients for long periods of time, suggesting that long-term use of the medications may be linked to cancer development. Read this story on www.medpagetoday.com . "Our study ... had the potential to include people with longer durations of bisphosphonate use and also had greater statistical power," Green and colleagues asserted. An accompanying editorial by Diane Wysowski, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, noted that links between bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer have been proposed for more than 15 years -- though the editorial made clear that this is not necessarily reflective of the agency's position on the matter. The FDA has collected a total of 68 case reports of esophageal cancer in patients taking bisphosphonates -- half in the United States and the rest in Europe and Japan -- but has not ordered label warnings. Prescribing information for oral bisphosphonates does include information on risks of other esophageal effects such as erosions and strictures, and dosing instructions are geared toward speeding the drugs through the esophagus.
click here to investigate http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/osteoporosis-drugs-esophageal-cancer-risk/story?id=11547158
Often the surgeon will begin with a "mini" operation on the abdomen to ensure no cancer has spread there. Occasionally, some parts of the procedure can be performed by inserting a thin tube with a light on the end into either the abdomen (laparoscopy) or chest area (thoracoscopy). The use of laparoscopy and thoracoscopy can help minimize the side effects after the operation. In rare cases, for cancers very high in the esophagus (near the mouth or throat), surgery requires the removal of the structures in the neck, such as the voice box. Swallowing might be difficult following the surgery, and reflux is often a problem. At first, the diet should be liquid, and then should progress to soft foods. A stent (a special type of tube) can also be left in place to widen the esophagus to make eating easier. If surgery is not possible, a laser may be used to remove tumour cells and relieve blockages of the esophagus. To allow the esophagus to heal after surgery, stomach tubes passing directly through the skin into the stomach may allow feeding. These tubes are easily inserted at the time of surgery, or may even be inserted using a local anesthetic without involving a hospital stay. Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, can be either external or internal.