Esophageal Cancer

The esophagus plays a major role in the human body because it is the primary tube that carries food and liquids from the throat to the stomach.  Esophageal cancer occurs when cancerous tumors develop inside the lining of the esophagus and is divided into two major types: squamous cell carcinoma (which arises in the squamous cells in the upper and middle part of the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (which begins in the cells that make and release mucus and fluids and is represented in the lower part of the esophagus).   Smoking, tobacco and alcohol usage are the primary risk factors for a person developing this type of cancer.   A person who has a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease is also at risk.  Most often, this cancer will occur in Caucasian men over the age of 60.  Vomiting, coughing up blood, weight loss and a chronic sore throat are the symptoms associated with esophageal cancer.  Depending on the stage, there are several treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, laser and photodynamic therapies.

For more information about esophageal cancer, click here: