What Is Esophageal Cancer?

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By james
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Once food is chewed and swallowed, it travels to our stomach. Digestion begins from the mouth where food is broken down using teeth and mixed with saliva. The journey from mouth to stomach is facilitated by the esophagus. This is a hollow muscular channel that contracts and expands to push food down to the stomach.

This passage has several layers of muscle. At the very end is the esophageal sphincter. This is a valve that controls the entry of food and drinks into the stomach from the esophagus. When esophageal cancer occurs, there is a formation and rapid growth of abnormal cells within the esophageal tissues. This can lead to the formation of a tumor. Though not a very common form of cancer, survival rates are low with about 10 percent of patients surviving past the 5-year mark.

1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

There are two main types of esophageal cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common type that affects the cells that line the esophagus. These cells have a flat thin shape. It normally develops in the upper and middle portions of this passage, but can also affect the rest of the esophagus.

Squamous cells can be found in other parts of the body besides the esophagus. They can be found in the skin and are responsible for a common form of skin cancer. Also referred to as SCC, it has been linked to harmful exposure to UV rays. This cancer can easily spread to other parts of the body.

Esophageal Cancer

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