Esophageal cancer occurs in the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Although survival rates have improved over the years, esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed when it has advanced and is more difficult to treat.
Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in the cells lining the esophagus. This type of esophageal cancer is more common in African-Americans. Adenocarcinoma occurs in glandular tissue, most often in the lower part of the esophagus near the stomach. It is the most common type of esophageal cancer. Adenocarcinomas are more common among Caucasians.
Esophageal cancer symptoms of are often not evident during its early stages. Even though symptoms may not mean cancer, people should consider contacting a doctor when experiencing the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia
- Pain, pressure or burning in the throat or chest
- Weight loss
- Persistent hiccups
- Chronic cough