Records of all patients diagnosed as having carcinoma of the esophagus in Israel between 1960 and 1966 were reviewed. The mean annual incidence was 2.3/100,000, with a male/female ratio of 1.6:1. Incidence was higher among the Asian-born segment of the population below 60 years of age. The most frequent localization was in the middle third of the esophagus, followed by the lower third. More than two thirds of the patients were considered unsuitable or surgery. Overall 5-year survival was 5.8%.