Esophageal Cancer: Statistics

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, an estimated 18,170 adults (14,660 men and 3,510 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It is estimated that 15,450 deaths (12,450 men and 3,000 women) from this disease will occur this year. Esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer death among men.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. The five-year survival rate of people with esophageal cancer is about 17%.

However, survival rates depend on several factors, including the stage (or extent) of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. The five-year survival rate of people with cancer located only in the esophagus is about 39%. The five-year rate for those with disease that has spread regionally is 21%; if it has spread to distant organs, about 4%.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with esophageal cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2014.

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