NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,791 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

esophageal cancer
(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues lining the esophagus (the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach). Two types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

EnlargeGastrointestinal (digestive) system anatomy; drawing shows the esophagus, liver, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

The esophagus and stomach are part of the upper gastrointestinal (digestive) system.