Oesophageal cancer, also known as oesophageal carcinoma, is a form of cancer of the oesophagus and generally starts in the mucous membrane. In recent years the number of cases of oesophageal cancer has risen sharply. Oesophageal cancer is mainly diagnosed in people over the age of 60 and affects more men than women. Typical symptoms include problems with swallowing and pain. The prognosis for oesophageal cancer is poor, unless the disease is detected at an early stage.