There are two main types of esophageal cancer.

Cancer of the esophagus can start anywhere along the length of the esophagus.  Each develops in a different kind of cell.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: the most common type of esophageal cancer worldwide. South Central Asia’s “esophageal cancer belt” region is reported as having some of the highest rates of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma worldwide, affecting both males and females at similar rates. Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the squamous cells that line the esophagus. These cancers are usually found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus. Normally these cancers are caused by heavy alcohol consumption and smoking, but there have been other documented risk factors as well.


  • Adenocarcinoma: the most common type in the United States and in Western Europe. Esophageal adenocarcinoma is one of the fastest increasing of all cancers in the United States.  Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells in the lower part of the esophagus and may occur at or near the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, known as the gastroesophageal (GE) – junction. Normally these cancers are caused by Acid Reflux and are linked to obesity.


Other Types of EC?

Other Esophageal Cancers: Rare forms of esophageal cancer include choriocarcinoma, lymphoma, melanoma, sarcoma and small cell cancer. Various other types of esophageal cancer like the small cell carcinoma, lymphoma and spindle cell carcinoma are not observed in patients very often but are seen very rarely. Normally these rare types of esophageal cancer might be caused due to the spreading of cancer from various other body parts,  like lungs or breasts, and into the esophagus via lymph system or via blood stream.Close

Different Types, Different Reasons

Each type of Esophageal Cancer has its own set of risk factors, symptoms and treatments.

Source: Mayo Clinic