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What types of esophageal diseases are there?

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There are numerous types of diseases and conditions that affect the esophagus, including esophageal cancer and Barrett's Esophagus. Other diseases of the esophagus include Achalasia, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and peptic strictures, according to the MUSC Health Digestive Disease Center.

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The signs and symptoms associated with esophageal cancer include trouble swallowing, chest pain, burning in the chest, indigestion or heartburn that worsens, unexplained weight loss, hoarseness and coughing, according to WebMD. During the beginning stages of esophageal cancer, some patients experience no symptoms. The two main types of cancer of the esophagus are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Factors that can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, GERD and Barrett's Esophagus.

Barrett's Esophagus is a condition that does not normally have any specific symptoms on its own, but acid reflux problems can cause a range of symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, excessive belching, sore throat and breathing problems, according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Barrett's Esophagus is diagnosed during an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Achalasia is a condition of the esophagus that makes it difficult for someone to move contents down their esophagus. Individuals with this condition do not have the ability to contract or relax the muscles needed for bringing contents down the esophagus.

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