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Have dysphagia and hiatal hernia. What are the chances of cancer?

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Practicing since : 2000
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Going to Loyola hospital tomorrow morning for an endoscope with X-rays. I am extremely nervous about the chance of cancer. I have had worsening dysphagia for about 4 months almost and had a cookie swallow test and barium X-rays in July. An nods cope was attempted in september but I had some reaction to the meds and was sort of fighting I guess the doctor and they had to abort the test. He rescheduled it for two weeks later und GA but then cancelled and wanted a consultation with me where he felt I should be t a bigger hospital for the test in case there was perforation ( our area does not have surgeons that can correct this problem). Of course this alarmed me considably and I have been just a terrible basket of nerves. The tests I had showed a possible extrinsic looking fillinf defect at the approximate C5 level (the othe test said c3 and c4). A CT scan was done this Friday and they believe it to not be extrinsic. I also have a small hiatal hernia and a small area of localized thickening just above theGE junction. Oh and also a mild schatzki's ring. I have not felt well at all since 4 days ago (prior to that I felt good even with consuming very little food, I have lost 20 pounds since this started fom being unable to eat). I believe I had a bit of dehydration and the doctore has me drinking pedialyte and as much Ensure as I can gt down (it is difficult for me to drink cuz it is thick). My GP initially told me its was not consistent with cancer and I could put that out of my mind however that is not what I red on the Internet. Everything I have read has been dire dire news. My question to you, is are you aware of any conditions that could cause this that are not cancer? I need some emotional care now along side the medical :). The doctor I seen at Loyola even though very good, did not have that need to treat my emotional state in addition to my medical. Thank you.
Posted Sat, 3 Nov 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 8 hours later
Hi and thanks for contacting healthcare magic
Dysphagia at the level of C3-C5 means the lesion is at the level of the neck. The esophagus at this level is called cervical esophagus.
Causes of dysphagia at the cervical esophagus can be because of a -
Motility issues or a structural problem
A progressive dysphagia at your age is likely yo be secondary to a structural causes like
1) Web
2) Extrinsic compression secondary to an abberent subclavian artery or an cervical osteophyte.
3) Stricture secondary to Thyroid enlargement
4) Stricture secondary to ulcers which can be infective - TB
5) Stricture secondary to an esophageal malignancy or a tracteal malignancy
As there are multiple causes and many of them are completly treatable it is better to have an early endoscopy with biopsy
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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