Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer (also called esophageal carcinoma) is a malignant tumor that grows in the lining of the esophagus. The esophagus (the gullet) is the tube that carries food from the mouth down into the stomach using a series of muscular movements.

Types of Esophageal Cancer

Two types of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, make up 90 percent of all esophageal cancers. Esophageal cancer can occur in any section of the esophagus. Most cancers in the top part of the esophagus are squamous cell cancers. They are called this because the cells lining the top part of the esophagus are squamous (scaly) cells.

Most cancers at the end of the esophagus that joins the stomach are adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinomas are often found in people who have a condition called Barrett’s.

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