NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Esophageal Cancer - page 15

15
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Esophageal Cancer
Version 1.2013
Part 2: Cancer staging
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Definitions:
adenocarcinoma:
Cancer
of cells that make mucus to
keep the esophagus moist
allergic reaction:
Symptoms that appear
when the body is trying to
rid itself of outside agents
biopsy:
Removal of small
amounts of tissue or fluid to
be tested for disease
hives:
Itchy, swollen, and
red skin caused by the
body trying to rid itself of an
outside agent
sedative:
A drug that helps
a person to relax or go to
sleep
squamous cell
carcinoma:
Cancer of cells
that line the inner wall of
the esophagus
CBC
Blood tests are used to look for signs of disease. A CBC gives important
information about the components of blood. One example is the number of white
blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. It is important to know if you have
enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues, white blood cells to fight
infections, and platelets to clot blood in open wounds. Your blood counts may
be low because the cancer has spread into your bones, the cancer is causing
bleeding, or because of another health problem.
Blood chemistry test
Chemicals in your blood come from your liver, bone, and other organs. A blood
chemistry test assesses if the chemicals in your blood are too low or high.
Abnormal levels can be caused by spread of cancer or by other diseases.
2.2 Pathology review
The biopsy samples from the endoscopy are sent to a pathologist. A pathologist
is a doctor who’s an expert in making a diagnosis by looking at cells with a
microscope. The pathologist will include all the test results in a pathology report.
It’s a good idea to get a copy of your pathology report since it’s used to plan
treatment.
Histology is the study of tissue with a microscope. The pattern and type of cells
from the biopsy are studied to help determine the histologic type. The pathology
report will state if the biopsy sample has cancer cells and if the cancer started in
the esophagus or elsewhere. If the cancer started in the esophagus, the report
will also list the type of esophageal cancer. Histologic subtypes of esophageal
cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and other rare
types.
Acronyms:
CBC
=
complete blood
count
CT
=
computed tomography
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