Esophageal Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with 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 16,980 adults (13,570 men and 3,410 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It is estimated that 15,590 deaths (12,600 men and 2,990 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 5 years after the cancer is found. The five-year survival rate of people with esophageal cancer is 18%.

However, survival rates depend on several factors, including the stage (or extent) of the cancer when it is first diagnosed. The five-year survival rate of people with cancer located only in the esophagus is 40%. The five-year survival rate for those with disease that has spread regionally is 21%; if it has spread to distant organs, 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, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. 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 2015.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations and it offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.