What You Need to Know About a Cancer on the Rise (Video)

Acid reflux could be causing more esophageal cancer

Acid Reflux could be causing more Esophageal Cancer

The incidence of cancer of the esophagus, or esophageal cancer, is on the upswing in the United States. Some experts theorize that this may be due to the increase in acid reflux (also known as “heartburn”). Acid reflux is a known risk factor for esophageal cancer.

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Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. The wall of the esophagus is made up of several layers of tissue. These tissues include the mucous membrane, muscle, and connective tissue. Esophageal cancer starts at the inside lining of the esophagus and spreads outward through the other layers as it grows.


As Cleveland Clinic thoracic surgeon Siva Raja, MD, PhD, explains, cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. However, it’s seen most commonly at the junction between the stomach and esophagus where acid reflux occurs. While cancer may be diagnosed early on in someone who is already being monitored for acid reflux or the precancerous condition Barrett’s esophagus, it’s typically found when it’s more advanced, due to difficulty in swallowing.

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This video will help you learn more about the common treatments for esophageal cancer, including various combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

You can also download our free swallowing disorders treatment guide to learn more.

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