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Esophageal Cancer Definition & Overview

Definition

The esophagus is the tube that transports food from the throat to the stomach. Esophageal cancer is the growth of cancer cells the esophagus.

There are two main types of esophageal cancer:

  • Squamous cell cancer—arises from the cells that line the upper part of the esophagus
  • Adenocarcinoma—arises from glandular cells that are present at the junction of the esophagus and stomach

Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide out of control. If cells keep dividing, a mass of tissue forms. These are called growths or tumors. If the tumor is malignant, it is cancer. They can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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