Esophageal cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues lining the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube through which food passes from the mouth to the stomach. Its inner surface is lined by flat cells, called squamous cells.
There are two types of esophageal cancer: squamous, which has been tied to smoking and excessive drinking; and adenocarcinoma, which seems to be more closely related to heartburn, and possibly other things like hazardous chemicals and inhalants. In the past, most cancers arose from squamous cells. It is now believed that about half of all esophageal cancers arise from adenocarcinomas cells.
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