- Esophagus Open the Esophageal Cancer pop-up dialog box
- Esophageal CancerOpen popup dialog
- Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus – a long, hollow tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. Your esophagus helps move the food you swallow from your throat into your stomach for digestion.
Esophageal cancer usually starts in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. More men than women have esophageal cancer.
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Weight Loss Without Trying
- Chest pain, pressure, or burning sensation
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn
- Cough or hoarseness
It is not known exactly what causes esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer occurs when cells in the esophagus develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. The changes cause cells to grow and divide uncontrollably. The abnormal cells that accumulate form a tumor in the esophagus that can grow to invade nearby structures and spread to other parts of the body.
it is believed that chronic irritation to your esophagus may contribute to the changes that cause esophageal cancer. Factors that irritate cells in your esophagus and increase your risk of esophageal cancer include:
- Suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus)
- To be overweight
- drink alcohol
- Do you have reflux of bile
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of esophageal cancer. For example:
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation strategies. Medication and advice will help you quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you want to drink alcohol, do it in moderation. For healthy adults, this means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Add a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about strategies to help you lose weight. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds per week.