About Esophageal Cancer

The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the mouth and stomach that carries food and liquids to the stomach. Esophageal cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. There are three types of esophageal cancer:

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Small cell carcinoma

Studies have shown that prolonged gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can increase the chance of developing gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma.


Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
More on carcinomas at NCI.


Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells are found in tissue that lines certain internal organs and makes and releases substances in the body, such as mucus, digestive juices, or other fluids. Most cancers of the breast, pancreas, lung, prostate, and colon are adenocarcinomas.
Pronunciation and more information at NCI.