Cancer of the esophagus (esophageal cancer) often does not show symptoms until later in the disease. Therefore, you should see your doctor any time you develop symptoms of esophageal cancer. These could be difficulty swallowing, bleeding, and pain in the chest or back. If you have ever been told you have a condition called Barrett's esophagus, it is especially important for you to work with your doctor. This condition puts you at higher risk for esophageal cancer, and your doctor might want you to go through tests from time-to-time to make sure the condition hasn't worsened.