Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus, the long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Your esophagus carries food you swallow to your stomach to be digested. Esophageal cancer begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus and can occur anywhere in the esophagus.
- Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer include the following:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Weight loss without trying
- Chest pain, pressure, or burning
- Frequent choking while eating
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Coughing or hoarseness
Early esophageal cancer typically causes no signs or symptoms.
Certain factors can cause chronic irritation to your esophagus. Chronic irritation of your esophagus may contribute to the DNA changes that cause esophageal cancer. Risk factors for esophageal cancer include: drinking alcohol, smoking, gastroesophageal reflux disease, obesity, Barrett’s esophagus, male gender, and ages between 45 and 70.
The Esophageal Cancer Action Network can also offer more information about esophageal cancer and ways to promote awareness.