Advertisement

What are the warning signs or symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

Esophageal cancer may cause symptoms related to swallowing liquids and foods. When it is difficult to swallow food, many people naturally change their diet to softer foods (mashed potatoes and pasta, for example), and eventually lose weight. The tumor may grow large enough to completely block the esophagus, making it difficult to swallow even liquids. Some people may experience acid reflux—their doctors will notice a change in the cells lining the esophagus when performing an If you develop new-onset acid reflux or have trouble swallowing, discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

Early esophageal cancers often do not have any warning signs or symptoms. If people experience any of the following symptoms they should talk to a doctor:

  • trouble swallowing
  • chest pain
  • worsening heartburn
  • a cough lasting for more than a month
  • weight loss without trying

Continue Learning about Esophageal Cancer

Risk Factors For Gastroesophageal Junction (GEJ) Cancer
Risk Factors For Gastroesophageal Junction (GEJ) Cancer
Gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma is a rare type of cancer that begins in the gastroesophageal junction, or GEJ. The GEJ is the part of the bod...
Read More
Why do people refuse surgery for esophageal cancer?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
It is hard to know why people refuse surgery for esophageal cancer and what factors affect their dec...
More Answers
What happens if I have to have my esophagus removed?
Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MDDr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
If your esophagus is removed, it is replaced by another organ—usually the stomach. The stomach can b...
More Answers
What Can Happen If GERD Is Untreated?
What Can Happen If GERD Is Untreated?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.