Diseases & Conditions
Boston Medical Center specializes in the treatment of many thoracic cancers, which are tumors that arise from malignant (abnormal) cells in the neck and chest area. We are here to help minimize your pain, treat you in the most effective way possible, and help you start on the path to recovery. Our staff of dedicated nurses, oncologists, and surgeons is here for you and your family in any way we can be. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
What is Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the esophagus, which is a flexible tube connecting the throat to the stomach. Generally between 10 and 13 inches long, the esophagus contracts when you swallow, to push food down into the stomach. Mucus helps move this process along.
Ninety percent of esophageal cancers are one of two types: squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell refers to cancers that originate in the cells that line the esophagus; adenocarcinoma begins in the part of the esophagus that joins the stomach.
Some people do not notice any symptoms of esophageal cancer until late in the disease. However, symptoms may include:
What Are the Causes?
The causes of esophageal cancer are not fully understood, but scientists have discovered several likely contributing factors. These include: