ICD-10-CM Code C15

Malignant neoplasm of esophagus

Version 2021 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

C15 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of malignant neoplasm of esophagus. The code is NOT valid for the year 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:C15
Short Description:Malignant neoplasm of esophagus
Long Description:Malignant neoplasm of esophagus

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • C15.3 - Malignant neoplasm of upper third of esophagus
  • C15.4 - Malignant neoplasm of middle third of esophagus
  • C15.5 - Malignant neoplasm of lower third of esophagus
  • C15.8 - Malignant neoplasm of overlapping sites of esophagus
  • C15.9 - ... unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code C15:

Use Additional Code

Use Additional Code
The “use additional code” indicates that a secondary code could be used to further specify the patient’s condition. This note is not mandatory and is only used if enough information is available to assign an additional code.
  • code to identify:
  • alcohol abuse and dependence F10

Code Classification

  • Neoplasms (C00–D48)
    • Malignant neoplasms of digestive organs (C15-C26)
      • Malignant neoplasm of esophagus (C15)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021

Information for Patients


Esophageal Cancer

The esophagus is a hollow tube that carries food and liquids from your throat to your stomach. Early esophageal cancer usually does not cause symptoms. Later, you may have symptoms such as

  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • A hoarse voice or cough that doesn't go away

You're at greater risk for getting esophageal cancer if you smoke, drink heavily, or have acid reflux. Your risk also goes up as you age

Your doctor uses imaging tests and a biopsy to diagnose esophageal cancer. Treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. You might also need nutritional support, since the cancer or treatment may make it hard to swallow.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

  • Coughing up blood (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Diet and eating after esophagectomy (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Esophageal cancer (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Esophagectomy - minimally invasive (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Esophagectomy - open (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Swallowing problems (Medical Encyclopedia)

[Learn More]