About Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer forms inside the esophagus — a hollow, muscular tube about 10 inches long that carries food and drink from the mouth to the stomach.
Cancer can develop when cells in the lining of the esophagus begin to grow and divide abnormally, forming a tumor. Tumors typically start in the innermost layer of the esophagus. They can eventually metastasize (spread) to the lymph nodes and other organs.
Esophageal cancer is considered rare, compared with cancers of the breast, lung, or prostate. Despite that, the number of people with one of the main types of esophageal cancer, called adenocarcinoma, has risen dramatically in the past few decades.