What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Commonest symptom of esophageal cancer is difficulty in swallowing. We will discuss various symptoms of esophageal cancer below:


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  • Difficulty in swallowing
    This is the most common symptom of esophageal cancer and is caused by the obstruction to the flow of food and liquid to the stomach. Early stages of esophageal cancer usually do not produce this symptom. As the disease progresses, it may cause difficulty in swallowing. Initially the difficulty in swallowing is present only with solids, but later as the disease progresses it may extend to swallowing liquids as well.
  • Weight loss
    Weight loss may occur in esophageal cancer due to decreased food intake or due to the direct effect of the tumor. Cancer may produce various chemical substances, which may suppress the appetite and lead to weight loss.
  • Pain in the chest
    In some patients the esophagus cancer can cause pain in the chest similar to the pain produced by heart disease. Esophageal cancer can cause discomfort or burning sensation that may be mistaken for heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Patients may develop pain during swallowing, but this is not usually seen in earlier phases of the disease.
  • Pain during swallowing
    Pain during swallowing may occur due to obstruction caused by the esophageal cancer. This is usually a late symptom of esophageal cancer.
  • Other symptoms
    Patients with esophageal cancer may present with many other symptoms including Hoarseness or voice, vomiting, hiccups chronic cough, pneumonia, coughing blood, pain in the back and high blood calcium levels. .

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