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Esophageal carcinoma is the eighth most common cancer, and the sixth most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Esophageal carcinomas in developing nations account for more than 80% of the total cases and deaths. Esophageal cancer can arise as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) or esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), which have distinct etiological and pathological characteristics. ESCC is the most common histological type of esophageal cancer in the Eastern world, and its incidence remains stable. In contrast, the epidemiology of esophageal cancer in developed nations has dramatically changed over the past 40 years. Forty years ago, ESCC accounted for more than 90% of esophageal cancer cases in the United States. However, adenocarcinoma has now become the leading type of esophageal cancer in the United States, representing 80% of cases.