(WKBN) – Your esophagus is a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach, and cancer of the esophagus is increasing in this county.

Doctors say this cancer is on the rise due partly to an increase in obesity and acid reflux.

It’s a serious form of cancer, and as in any form of cancer, you have to find it as soon as possible.

“Early treatment for esophageal cancer is critical. We know that survival is directly dependent on the stage when you present,” said Dr. Shanda Blackmon, who works in thoracic surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

Early detection will allow your surgeon a smaller cut.

The surgeon can remove a small part of the esophagus or the whole length of the esophagus. The way that the surgeon removes it and rebuilds it depends on the size of the tumor and how much the doctor has to rebuild.

Having a small cut typically allows a patient to recover quicker and with less pain.