Esophageal diverticula and cancer

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Herbella, F. A. M. [UNIFESP]
Dubecz, A.
Patti, M. G.
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Esophageal diverticula are rare. the association of cancer and diverticula has been described. Some authors adopt a conservative non-surgical approach in selected patients with diverticula whereas others treat the symptoms by diverticulopexy or myotomy only, leaving the diverticulum in situ. However, the risk of malignant degeneration should be may be taken in account if the diverticulum is not resected. the correct evaluation of the possible risk factors for malignancy may help in the decision making process. We performed a literature review of esophageal diverticula and cancer. the incidence of cancer in a diverticulum is 0.37, 1.8, and 0.6% for pharyngoesophageal, midesophageal, and epiphrenic diverticula, respectively. Symptoms may mimic those of the diverticulum or underlying motor disorder. Progressive dysphagia, unintentional weight loss, the presence of blood in the regurgitated material, regurgitation of peaces of the tumor, odynophagia, melena, hemathemesis, and hemoptysis are key symptoms. Risk factors for malignancy are old age, male gender, long-standing history, and larger diverticula. A carcinoma may develop in treated diverticula, even after resection. Outcomes are usually quoted as dismal because of a delayed diagnosis but several cases of superficial carcinoma have been described. the treatment follows the same principals as the therapy for esophageal cancer; however, diverticulectomy is enough in cases of superficial carcinomas. Patients must be carefully evaluated before therapy and a long-term follow-up is advisable.
Diseases of the Esophagus. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, v. 25, n. 2, p. 153-158, 2012.