Esophageal cancer can occur in any part of the esophageal tube that runs from the throat down to the stomach, but is most often seen in the cells that line the tube and/or in the lower part of the tube that is often exposed to stomach acids. This disease, which occurs in more men than women, may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a hereditary condition, heavy alcohol consumption or smoking/tobacco use. Typical symptoms include swallowing problems, weight loss, indigestion/heartburn, chest pain and coughing. As with many other cancers, the earlier that esophageal cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis for resolving it. Medical treatments range from surgery to remove all or part of the esophagus to radiation therapy, chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy.