Esophageal Cancer

What is esophageal cancer? It forms in the esophagus, which is the tube that carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Esophageal cancers share some similarities with lung cancer, and many doctors who treat lung cancer also treat cancers of the esophagus.

How often does it occur? More than 17,000 esophageal cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States, and more than 15,000 individuals die from the disease. The frequency of esophageal cancer is increasing.

Cancer can develop in any part of the esophagus, and spread to areas such as:

  • surrounding lymph nodes
  • windpipe
  • large blood vessels in the chest
  • other nearby organs

What can University of Minnesota Cancer Care offer? Our esophageal cancer specialists are experts in treating esophageal and other chest-related cancers. Patients with esophageal cancers often have complex medical needs and require comprehensive therapies such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and often the newest treatments.

Treatment for esophageal cancer depends on a number of factors, including its location, size, extent and type of cancer cells. Our specialists work with more than 1,000 patients each year, developing customized treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs.