What is esophageal cancer?

Published On: Jan 15 2014 05:10:37 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 04:08:58 PM EST

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus -- a 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 usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus, but in people in the United States, it occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus. More men than women get esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer isn't common in the United States. In other areas of the world, such as Asia and parts of Africa, esophageal cancer is much more common.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/esophageal-cancer/basics/definition/CON-20034316