Esophageal Cancer News

Esophageal cancer is cancer of the muscular tube, called the esophagus, that food passes through on its way to the stomach. The two most common types of esophageal cancer are adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, which usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus, and squamous cell carcinoma, which occurs most often in the upper part of the esophagus. The disease is three to four times more common in men than it is in women.

Causes of Esophageal Cancer

There are multiple potential causes of esophageal cancer. Some, like an increased risk with old age, can't be controlled, but other risk factors can be managed. For example, heavy smoking and drinking are risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma. Being obese, having acid reflux and a disease called Barrett’s esophagus are all risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.


Treatment options for esophageal cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. The treatment or combination of treatments used will vary based on the cancer's type and stage. If surgery is required, a portion of the esophagus and stomach may be removed, and the surgeon would then reconnect the remaining organs in order for digestion to continue in a close-to-normal fashion.

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are treatments designed to kill cancer cells. For esophageal cancer, radiation therapy may be administered from outside the body or inside the body, via a tube placed in the esophagus. Targeted therapy is a medication that is injected into the bloodstream that can halt the growth and spread of cancer cells.

SOURCES: American Cancer Society; U.S. National Cancer Institute

Date Posted
Article Title
Gum Disease May Be Linked to Cancer Risk in Older Women

Esophageal, breast and lung cancer, among others, seen in postmenopausal women in large study

Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers

Still, more progress is needed and racial disparities remain, U.S. report finds

Another Obesity Downside: Higher Esophageal Cancer Risk

Research shows association with increased odds for stomach tumors as well

Another Study Ties Obesity to Certain Cancers

Digestive organs may be hardest hit by too much weight, study suggests

Can Breath Test Detect Stomach Cancers Earlier?

New technology may also spot esophageal cancers sooner, but more study is needed

Alcohol, Obesity Could Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk

A third of cases would vanish if people stayed trim and didn't drink, cancer experts say

Lung Cancer Survivors May Be Getting Too Many PET Scans

Study finds using costly test as first option for follow-up may not improve survival

Poorer Black Patients Have Lower Survival From Esophageal Cancer

Affluence seems key, since death rates didn't vary by race at higher income levels, study found

One or Two Drinks a Day Might Boost Cancer Risk: Study

Limit alcohol consumption, especially if you've ever smoked, experts say

Smoking Blamed for Half of Deaths From Major Cancers in People Over 35

Eighty percent of lung cancer deaths linked to smoking, researchers say

HPV Vaccination for Girls May Help Prevent Cancers in Males

But, while they remain at risk of infection, immunizing boys may not be cost-effective, study says

Aspirin May Help Ward Off Gastro Cancers, Study Finds

But experts caution against starting to take it every day in hopes of preventing disease

Report Shows Progress in America's War on Cancer

Small, but steady declines in deaths seen over past decade

Cancer Patients Who Smoke, Drink May Face Longer Feeding Tube Use

But it's not clear from study if dropping these habits would shorten the time people need outside nutrition

Tobacco Tied to Higher Risk of Oral HPV Infection, Study Finds

Researchers say smoking and 'chew' raised odds for the virus, which is linked to mouth, throat cancer

Taller People May Have Lower Risk of Esophageal Cancer: Study

But researchers aren't sure why there is an association between the two

Cancer Diagnosis Can Take Toll on Mental Health, Study Finds

Breast cancer particularly troubling, researchers report

Obesity Tied to Higher Cancer Risk for Colon Cancer Survivors

Finding is yet another reason to maintain a healthy weight, experts say

Daily Aspirin May Help Prevent Cancer, Study Shows

Taking low-dose pill each day fights numerous malignancies, and benefits outweigh any risk

Smoking, Drinking Combo Raises Odds for Esophageal Cancer

Study found having both unhealthy habits doubled risk of malignancy compared to having just one

Treatment May Prevent Esophagus Condition From Progressing to Cancer

In study of patients with Barrett's esophagus, those who received radio-frequency ablation fared better

Anti-Seizure Drug May Guard Against Some Cancers

Study found use of valproic acid linked to 34 percent lower risk of head, neck tumors

Poor Diet May Spur Inflammation-Related Health Problems

Eating too much sugar and unhealthy fats linked to cancer and early death in study

Overweight Teen Years Tied to Later Cancer Risk

Study found too much weight may be connected to esophageal disease

Exercise May Lower Risk of Esophageal Cancer

But review author says other lifestyle factors may also be at play

Family History of Cancer May Raise Risk for Other Types of Tumors

Large European study looked at people with close relatives who'd been affected

HPV May Also Raise Risk of Throat Cancer

Review found higher rates of esophageal cancer in people infected with virus

Chronic Heartburn May Raise Odds for Throat Cancer: Study

But simple antacids appear to lower the risk, researchers report

Alcohol Blamed for 1 in Every 30 Cancer Deaths: Study

Research suggests that even a little drinking can raise odds for malignancy

New Guidelines Urge Limiting Endoscopy for GERD

Women should not undergo routine screening, and many men don't need it either, according to American College of Physicians

More Stomach, Esophageal Cancers Seen in AIDS Patients Than Others

Study looked at nearly 600,000 people with condition

Avoiding Alcohol May Cut Risk for Esophageal Cancer

It takes up to 16 years for former chronic drinkers to return to normal risk level, review found

Scientists ID Cancer-Causing Agent in Smokeless Tobacco

Study rats received equivalent of daily half-tin of ingredient over 30 years

Untreated Heartburn May Raise Risk for Esophageal Cancer, Study Says

Obesity, poor diet contribute to acid reflux, which is sometimes linked to the deadly disease

Pre-op Treatments Boost Survival for Esophageal Cancer Patients: Study

Experts say adding chemo, radiation before surgery is now standard treatment for most with the disease

Chronic Heartburn May Boost Risk for Esophageal Cancer

Inflammation of tissue lining the esophagus could be the cause, study says

Less-Invasive Surgery for Esophageal Cancer Might Be Safer

Study comparing it to standard open surgeries found fewer infections, shorter hospital stays

Esophageal Cancer Surgery Can Leave Lingering Health Problems, Study Says

Some report breathlessness, fatigue, insomnia and eating problems years later

U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall: Report

But incidence of cancers linked to obesity increasing, researchers find

Pediatricians' Group Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys

Immunization schedules for meningitis, flu also updated

Blood Test Shows Promise in Spotting Pancreatic Cancers Early

Another study suggests a similar test for those at risk for esophageal tumors

Many Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Face Eating Problems

Poor throat function, depression and pain are common, study finds

Obesity Linked to Higher Esophageal Cancer Death Rates

Findings could lead to new treatment strategies for overweight patients, researchers say