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Esophageal Cancer Causes

While it is not entirely understood what causes esophageal cancer, the condition has been linked to some specific risk factors. Generally, it is thought that most cancers of the esophagus are brought on by chronic irritation, which may cause genetic mutations in the esophageal cells. This may affect how those cells multiply and grow, ultimately resulting in a cancerous tumor, which can spread to other parts of the body. For example, Barret’s esophagus, a condition marked by the changing of esophageal cells – usually in the lower esophagus – into gland cells due to chronic acid reflux is thought to be one significant risk factor. Additionally, the risk of developing esophageal cancer increases with age and occurs in men much more often than in women.

Other esophageal cancer causes include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Achalasia
  • Plummer-Vinson syndrome
  • Bile reflux

Tampa General Hospital is a leading destination for patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer. We take a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, providing our patients with access to a team of specialists, including surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, who focus specifically on treating cancers of the head and neck. To plan the best treatment for our patients, we take into account a patient’s age, medical history, overall health, and other factors to help produce the best chance at a successful recovery.

For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool or call (813) 844-2200.