What are the types of esophageal cancer?
Different types of esophageal cancer begin in different types of cells and can be classified as:
More than half of new cases of esophageal cancer are adenocarcinoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma has been becoming more common since the 1970s. It starts in glandular cells, which are not normally present in the lining of the esophagus but can grow there due to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Adenocarcinoma occurs mainly at the lower end of the esophagus and the upper part of the stomach.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma begins when squamous cells (thin, flat cells in the lining of the esophagus) begin to grow uncontrollably. It’s usually located in the upper or middle part of the esophagus.
Small cell carcinoma
By far the rarest kind of esophageal cancer, small cell carcinoma begins in neuroendocrine cells which release hormones into the blood in response to signals from nerves.