Firstly, in hopes of understanding what esophageal cancer is, one must first understand what the esophagus is. The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach. It’s primary purpose it to transport food to the stomach and is usually between 10 – 13 inches long. Furthermore, the esophagus is lined with smooth muscle tissue, which causes contracts without conscious thought, moving the food along to the stomach.
Essentially, esophageal cancer is a malignant tumor present in the esophagus. The location of this malignant tumor or “cancer” affects what ‘type’ of esophageal cancer it is classified as. There are two types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell esophageal cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma. The first occurs in the upper two-thirds of the esophagus, while the latter happens in the lower end of the esophagus near the stomach. In squamous cell cancer, the malignant tumor begins in the squamous cells that line the upper two-thirds of the esophagus. This is slightly different from adenocarcinoma that occurs in the glandular tissue (area near stomach) of the esophagus.
Regardless, both types of cancer impair the esophagus from functioning in the proper manner; the malignant tumors make it difficult and painful to swallow. Additionally some side-effects may include: unintentional weight loss, nausea, vomiting and chest pain. Mostly, though these symptoms appear in the later stages of esophageal...
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...t, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. 26 May 2010
"ACS :: What Is Cancer of the Esophagus?" American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. 26 May 2010
"Define:esophagus - Google Search." Google. 26 May 2010
"Esophageal cancer: Tests and diagnosis - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living - MayoClinic.com. 27 May 2010
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