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Young but losing weight, choking throat should be screened for cancer

Ms. TH, 29 years old, often feels entangled, choking as if there is a block in her throat, does not eat well. Fatigue, loss of 3kg in the past 2 weeks for no apparent reason.

“Are my signs close to esophageal cancer? Should I be screened for cancer because I heard that gastrointestinal cancer is common after 40 years old,” asked Ms. TH.

Answering the question of Ms. TH in the recent online consultation program, MSc.BSCK2 Ha Hai Nam – Deputy Head of Abdominal Surgery Department 1 K Hospital – said that esophageal cancer often occurs in 2 main groups of subjects including: : Alcoholics, smokers, common in male patients, located 2/3 on the esophagus.

The second group is found in the lower third, usually occurs in the group of patients with gastroesophageal reflux; there is damage to the junction between the esophagus and the stomach; group of obese patients.

With the symptoms of Ms. TH mentioned above, Dr. Nam said that there are many similarities with common symptoms of esophageal cancer such as: Difficulty swallowing, choking, weight loss.

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Illustration: Alkhaleejtoday

In addition, patients with esophageal cancer often have other signs such as hoarseness, increased salivation, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, etc.

However, with benign pathology, there are also some symptoms similar to those of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Doctor Nam said, gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disease that carries risk factors that can progress to malignant lesions.

Should this young patient be screened for cancer? According to the doctor, through examination, the statement that “cancer in general or cancer of the digestive tract in particular often occurs in middle-aged people” is no longer reasonable.

In fact, many people under the age of 30 have been diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, doctors recommend that even if you are young, if you have any abnormal signs in your body (like the patient above), you should go to a specialized medical facility.

These facilities are capable of endoscopic intervention for early detection of even benign lesions, which also eliminates worries about the possibility of malignancy.

In addition to recommending that Ms. TH should go to a medical facility for gastro-oesophageal endoscopy, MSc.BSCK2 Nguyen Thi Huong Giang – Head of the Department of Upper Gastroenterology and Urology, K Hospital – additionally, female patients should save psychological problem.

According to the female doctor, the patient’s “feeling like there’s a lump in his neck” can be a physical symptom, but it can also be functional, ie a psychological problem.

Nowadays, the pace of life changes, young people have more pressures in life and work.

“Sometimes stress can also make you psychologically disturbed. Stress from work and life makes the patient uncomfortable, not eating well. The feeling of choking can be caused by emotional disturbances. If you don’t eat well, it will also make the patient lose weight,” said Dr. Giang.

Therefore, patients need to go to a specialist to avoid subjectively ignoring the golden opportunity for early detection of the disease. If no physical damage is found, the patient should make an appointment with a doctor or psychologist to analyze the situation, solve the patient’s stress and psychological problems more thoroughly.

Thanh Hien

Among gastrointestinal cancers, esophageal cancer ranks third after stomach and colorectal cancers. This type of disease ranks 9th in the total number of cancers in general.

Each year, Vietnam has more than 2,400 new cases and more than 2,200 deaths from esophageal cancer. To accurately diagnose the disease, patients need to undergo endoscopy combined with ultrasound and biopsy.

This measure helps the doctor to see abnormal images of the shape of the esophagus as well as cancerous tissues, or abnormalities of the tissues that lead to cancer or other lesions.

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