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What are the types of esophageal cancer?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

There are two main types of esophageal cancer. Both types are diagnosed, treated, and managed in similar ways.

The two most common types are named for how the cancer cells look under a microscope. Both types begin in cells in the inner lining of the esophagus:

Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus: This type is usually found in the lower part of the esophagus, near the stomach. In the United States, adenocarcinoma is the most common type of esophageal cancer. It's been increasing since the 1970s. Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus: This type is usually found in the upper part of the esophagus. This type is becoming less common among Americans. Around the world, however, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type.

This Answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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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.