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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Esophageal cancer

Other Names for this Disease
  • Esophagus cancer
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Esophageal cancer is a cancer of the esophagus, the hollow tube that carries food and liquids from the throat to the stomach. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include painful or difficult swallowing, weight loss and coughing up blood. The exact cause is usually not known, but both environmental and genetic factors are throught to play a role in the development of this condition. In the United States, risk factors for developing esophageal cancer include smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, and damage from acid reflux. Treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and laser therapy. Some patients may also need nutritional support, since the cancer or treatment may make it hard to swallow.[1][2]
Last updated: 1/12/2012


  1. Esophageal cancer. MedlinePlus. Accessed 1/12/2012.
  2. Esophageal cancer. Online Mendelian Inheritance of Man (OMIM). October 2011; Accessed 1/12/2012.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.  Click on the link to view information on this topic. 

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Esophageal cancer. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

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