Esophageal Cancer


Esophageal cancer starts at the inside lining of the esophagus and spreads outward through the other layers as it grows. The two most common forms of esophageal cancer are named for the type of cells that become malignant:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that forms in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells lining the esophagus. This cancer is most often found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus, but can occur anywhere along the esophagus. This is also called epidermoid carcinoma.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells in the lining of the esophagus produce and release fluids such as mucus. Adenocarcinomas usually form in the lower part of the esophagus, near the stomach.

The National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that nearly 17,650 people in the United States will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer and 16,080 will die of the disease in 2019. The average five year survival rate is just 19.9 percent.

Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and Barrett esophagus can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer​. Other risk factors include older age, being male, and being African-American.

Source: National Cancer Institute​


The AACR - Impacting Cancer Research and Care

Obesity and Your Cancer Risk

Being overweight or obese increases the risk for certain cancers and complications from treatment.  Read More.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300