Esophageal Cancer Specialist

Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. -  - Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD, Kent Island, MD, Odenton, MD, Bowie, MD, Pasadena, MD & Greenbelt, MD

Esophageal cancer isn’t a common cancer in the United States. However, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Barrett’s esophagus, you may be at risk of developing this type of cancer. At Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A., the skilled gastroenterologists use state-of-the-art technology to monitor these chronic conditions and diagnose esophageal cancer. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, or Pasadena, Maryland, or book an appointment online today.

Esophageal Cancer Q & A

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the esophagus, which is the hollow tube that connects your mouth to your stomach and supports normal digestion.

There are two primary types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cells are flat, thin cells that line the inside of your esophagus. This type of esophageal cancer develops in the upper or middle portion of the esophagus. 

Smoking and drinking too much alcohol may increase your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. 


Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of esophageal cancer, and it begins in the mucus-secreting cells that line your esophagus. This type of esophageal cancer most often affects the lower portion of the esophagus.

You may be at greater risk of developing adenocarcinoma if you have Barrett’s esophagus or GERD. 

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Symptoms of esophageal cancer vary, and you may not have any symptoms during the early stages. 

When esophageal cancer develops, you may experience:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Acid reflux
  • Worsening of your indigestion or heartburn
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain

If you have these symptoms, contact Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates to schedule an evaluation. You should also undergo regular screenings for esophageal cancer if you have a history of Barrett’s esophagus or GERD.

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates is a state-of-the-art practice that has a full spectrum of tools to diagnose esophageal cancer. 

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your gastroenterologist may recommend various tests to confirm or rule out esophageal cancer. Testing may include an upper endoscopy to evaluate the tissue in your esophagus and then a biopsy of any abnormal tissue. 

If you have esophageal cancer, your gastroenterologist may conduct additional tests, such as an endoscopic ultrasound, a CT scan, or a PET scan, to see if your cancer has spread to other areas of your body. 

How is esophageal cancer treated?

Your gastroenterologist develops an individualized treatment plan for your esophageal cancer based on the type and stage, your overall health, and your personal preferences. 

Treatment may include surgery to remove:

  • The cancerous tumor
  • A portion of your esophagus (esophagectomy)
  • Parts of your esophagus and stomach (esophagogastrectomy)

Additional treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, or immunotherapy. The team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates works closely with your oncologist to make sure you get comprehensive and compassionate care.

To schedule an evaluation with the experts at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A., call the office or book an appointment online today.