Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus, which is a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach and carries the food you swallow from the back of your throat to your stomach to be digested. Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
It's not exactly clear what causes esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer occurs when cells in your esophagus develop errors (mutations) in their DNA. The errors make cells grow and divide out of control. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor in the esophagus that can grow to invade nearby structures and spread to other parts of the body.