Cancer that occurs in the oesophagus – a hollow long tube that transfer the food from the throat to the stomach. The oesophagus and stomach are part of the upper gastrointestinal (digestive) system.
Oesophageal cancer usually begins in the cells lining the inside of the oesophagus before spreading outwards through the other layers as it grows.
The two most common forms of oesophageal cancer are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (Epidermoid carcinoma) - Squamous cells are thin, flat cells lining the oesophagus. This cancer is mostly found in the upper and middle part of the oesophagus, but can also occur anywhere along the oesophagus.
- Adenocarcinoma - Glandular cells are secretory cells lining the oesophagus and they produce and release fluids such as mucus. This cancer usually starts in the lower part of the oesophagus, closer to the stomach.