2022 ICD-10-CM Code C15

Malignant neoplasm of esophagus

Version 2021

Not Valid for Submission

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

Code Classification

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

C15 is a non-specific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of malignant neoplasm of esophagus. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2022 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. Category or Header define the heading of a category of codes that may be further subdivided by the use of 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th characters.

Specific Coding for Malignant neoplasm of esophagus

Non-specific codes like C15 require more digits to indicate the appropriate level of specificity. Consider using any of the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity when coding for malignant neoplasm of esophagus:

  • BILLABLE CODE - Use C15.3 for Malignant neoplasm of upper third of esophagus
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use C15.4 for Malignant neoplasm of middle third of esophagus
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use C15.5 for Malignant neoplasm of lower third of esophagus
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use C15.8 for Malignant neoplasm of overlapping sites of esophagus
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use C15.9 for Malignant neoplasm of esophagus, 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 coding notes and 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.

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

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


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Esophageal Cancer—Patient Version Learn about esophageal cancer risk factors, symptoms, tests to diagnose, factors affecting prognosis, staging, and treatment.
[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Code History

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