The esophagus is the long muscular tube that travels from the throat to the stomach. Its main purpose is to help move food through the body. Esophageal cancer affects this tube and can cause a wide variety of issues. Typically, the cancer begins in the cells that line the interior of the esophagus. As it progresses, it can damage the deeper tissues and muscles. Most cases of esophageal cancer have no symptoms until the disease has developed to a dangerous stage.
One of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer is difficulty swallowing or dysphagia. People often feel as though food has become stuck in their throat or chest, and they may even begin to choke. Early on, dysphagia is usually mild, though it will likely worsen as the cancer progresses because tumors grow within and along the esophagus, narrowing the passage.
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