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April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this good time to learn the signs of esophageal cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Approximately 21,560 new cases of esophageal cancer ― 17,030 in men and 4,530 in women ― will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, and 16,120 people ― 12,920 men and 3,200 women ― will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus ― a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Your esophagus helps move the food you swallow from the back of your throat to your stomach to be digested. Esophageal cancer is more common among men than women, and it can occur anywhere along the esophagus.
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
Here are four steps you can take to reduce your risk of esophageal cancer:
Connect with others talking about esophageal cancer in the Esophageal Cancer support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an online patient community moderated by Mayo Clinic.
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