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What causes esophageal cancer?

Cells are tiny structures that make up all of the body parts, and cancer is happens when some of these cells go bad. Normal cells live for a limited time, and, once that time is over, they are removed by the body. These old, dying cells are replaced by new, young cells, and this process assures our body is always working with young, properly functioning cells.

All cells contain DNA, which carries the instructions for how our body should operate. In cancer cells, a change, called a mutation, occurs in this DNA, and the normal routine of old cells being replaced by new cells doesn't happen. The old cells to continue living, and new cells to grow out of control. Combined, these two things lead to a mass of abnormal cells called a tumor. In esophageal cancer, this happens in the esophagus, the tube leading from the mouth to the stomach.

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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.