Symptoms

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Patients with esophageal cancer generally experience the following symptoms:

  • Initially, they may feel subtle sensations of food sticking the esophagus. Over time, the sensation changes and feels like food is sticking in the esophagus, a condition known as dysphagia. Weight loss and a decreased appetite often follow. Dysphagia is often the symptom that prompts a patient to seek medical attention.
  • The cancer may also be discovered during evaluation for symptoms of chronic heartburn, regurgitation or gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients with longstanding GERD or known Barrett's esophagus may be periodically evaluated by their physician and the cancer found during one of these exams.

Understanding the Disease
The Esophagus
Types of Esophageal Cancer
Risk Factors