Esophageal cancer starts in the cells of the esophagus. The esophagus is a hollow, muscular tube that carries food and drink from the back of your mouth down to your stomach. Cancer of the esophagus can start anywhere along the length of the esophagus.
Cancers that develop in internal organs (such as the esophagus) are less likely to present symptoms, and more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2018).
In 2020 an estimated 2400 Canadians will be given a diagnosis of esophageal cancer and an estimated 2300 will die of the disease (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2020).
Listed below are two main types of esophageal cancer where treatment is similar in both cases:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
Starts in the cells that line the esophagus. These Cancers usually develop in the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
Starts in the glandular cells in the lower part of the Esophagus.