Benign and malignant tumors of the esophagus at autopsy

Attah, E.B.; Hajdu, S.I.

Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 55(3): 396-404


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-5223
PMID: 5644217
Document Number: 5029
Twenty-six cases of benign tumors of the esophagus, found incidentally at autopsy, are reported. A study of findings in 113 patients with carcinoma of the esophagus autopsied during 30 years (1936-1965) is made. The following findings and conclusions are reached: 1. Carcinoma of the esophagus constituted 3.8 per cent of all cancers autopsied at this hospital during that period. 2. A slight increase in incidence in the white autopsy population is noted, contrary to the national higher frequency in the Negro population. The possible interpretations of this are discussed. 3. The age at death of the Negro patients autopsied is found to be lower than that of the white patients. 4. All but I patient were dead by the end of 2 years after onset of symptoms. Generally poor survival precludes the use of histologic morphology in determining prognosis. 5. The majority of tumors occurred in the middle and lower thirds of the esophagus and were squamous. Nine were undifferentiated. Other cancers of the esophagus must be very rare. 6. There was no correlation between primary tumor size and metastasis. 7. Of our cases, 3.5 per cent of carcinoma of the esophagus was associated with other primary cancers. 8. Complications are discussed. Hematemesis is so rare as a symptom of esophageal carcinoma that, when it occurs, invasion of a major blood vessel must be suspected.

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Benign and malignant tumors of the esophagus at autopsy