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Differential diagnoses of esophageal cancer

Benign conditions

  • Dysphagia and retention are due to acid reflux with ulcer or fibrosis in the wall of the esophagus.
  • Retention may also be due to esophageal achalasia and scleroderma.
  • Pain in the mediastinum may be due to heart disease.

Malignant conditions

  • Retention may be due to cancer in the stomach. 

  • Exhaustion/lethargy may be due to stomach cancer or other advanced cancer disease.
  • Fistula between the esophagus/respiratory passages may be due to cancer in the respiratory passages.

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