April is Esophageal Cancer Month

Formed in the muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach, more than 18,000 Americans will develop esophageal cancer and over 15,000 people will die from it. Rates of diagnosis have been slowly rising over the past twenty to thirty years. It is treatable, but not curable.

The two main types of esophageal cancer include:

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the squamous cells that line the esophagus. These cancers are usually found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus.

Adenocarcinoma

Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells in the lower part of the esophagus and may occur at or near the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, known as the gastroesophageal (GE) – junction.

Most esophageal cancers do not cause symptoms until they have reached an advanced stage. Common symptoms for cancers of the esophagus are trouble swallowing, chest pain, weight loss, and a chronic cough.

The risk of developing esophageal cancer can be reduced by limiting risk factors like tobacco, alcohol, and an unhealthy diet or weight.

Treatments used for this type of cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy.

More information about esophageal cancer can be found at:

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