Esophageal cancer is a malignant condition that develops in the cells lining the inside of the esophagus.
Your esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the pharynx to the cardia of the stomach, also called esophagogastric junction or gastroesophageal junction. As part of the digestive tract, the esophagus is located between your spine and lungs. Its main role is to transport solids and liquids foods into your stomach through peristalsis, involuntary muscle contractions that occur in different vessels of the esophageal tube.
To carry foods and drinks into the stomach, the muscles of the esophagus contract in a rhythmic, wave-like motion. Once in the stomach, foods are prevented from returning into the esophagus by the muscles of the esophagogastricjunction, a sphincter located between the esophagus and stomach.
Esophageal cancer occurs when, due certain pathogenic factors, some cells that line the inside of the esophagus multiply anarchically and form a malignant growth.