What are the key statistics about cancer of the esophagus?
- About 17,990 new esophageal cancer cases diagnosed (14,440 in men and 3,550 in women)
- About 15,210 deaths from esophageal cancer (12,220 in men and 2,990 in women)
This disease is 3 to 4 times more common among men than among women. The lifetime risk of esophageal cancer in the United States is about 1 in 125 in men and about 1 in 435 in women.
Overall, the rates of esophageal cancer in the United States have been fairly stable for many years. It was once much more common in African Americans than in whites. But it is now about equally as common, as rates have fallen in African Americans and increased slightly in whites over the past few decades. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer of the esophagus among African Americans, while adenocarcinoma is more common in whites.
Cancer of the esophagus is much more common in some other countries. For example, esophageal cancer rates in Iran, northern China, India, and southern Africa are 10 to 100 times higher than in the United States. The main type of esophageal cancer in these countries is squamous cell carcinoma.
Last Medical Review: 12/10/2012
Last Revised: 01/18/2013