- gastroesophageal reflux
- oesophageal varices
- oesophageal cancer
The following symptoms may be related to oesophageal diseases:
- difficulties swallowing
- pain behind the breastbone
The most common condition is an inflammation of the oesophagus, also known as gastroesophageal reflux. Stomach acids reflux into the oesophagus due to the oesophagus not closing properly. The patient experiences heartburn. Unless treated, the condition may causes erosion of the oesophageal lining.
Patients suffering from cirrhosis of the liver may develop oesophageal varices. The vessels can easily leak and cause life-threatening bleeding.
Oesophageal cancer is three times more common in men than women. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is frequently detected late; only when the patient complains about difficulty swallowing. Causes commonly include excess consumption of alcohol, smoking and heartburn.