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How many different kinds of esophageal cancer are there?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

There are two different kinds of esophageal cancer, and they are based on which cells (tiny structures that make up body structures) of the esophagus they affect. Squamous cell carcinomas are esophageal cancers that most often affect the cells that make up the lining of the esophagus in the area closer to the mouth. In contrast, adenocarcinomas are esophageal cancers that affect the cells that make esophageal fluids, such as mucus. Adenocarcinomas most often begin in the area of the esophagus closer to the stomach, and it is the most common type of esophageal cancer in the United States.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.