Esophageal cancer is cancer that starts in one of the layers of the esophagus wall and grows outward through other layers. There are two main types of esophageal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The inner layer of the esophagus is lined with squamous cells so cancer that starts here is called squamous cell carcinoma. Adenocarcinomas is cancer that starts in the gland cells within the esophagus. Symptoms of esophageal cancer can include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, indigestion, heartburn, coughing, and unexplained weight loss. Chronic irritation of your esophagus may contribute to the changes that cause esophageal cancer. Factors that cause irritation in the cells of your esophagus and increase your risk of esophageal cancer include GERD, smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, Barrett’s esophagus, and consumption of very hot liquids repeatedly.