Signs of esophageal cancer include:
- Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chest pain or burning
- Coughing or hoarseness
- Worsening indigestion or heartburn
- Being sick
- Feeling exhausted
- Pain in your throat, especially when swallowing
Early esophageal cancer causes no signs or symptoms.
The cause of oesophageal cancer is not precisely known, but it occurs when cells in the oesophagus(Food Pipe) develop changes in their DNA. These changes cause cells to grow and divide abnormally. These abnormal cells form a tumor in the oesophagus that extends to invade nearby organs and spread to other body parts.
Preventing oesophageal cancer
You cannot permanently prevent oesophageal cancer. But constructing healthy changes can reduce your chances of getting it.
- Attempt to lose weight if you are obese
- Allow hot drinks to cool down a bit before sipping so they do not damage your oesophagus
- Restrict alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
The doctor or specialist will refer you to a test to look into your oesophagus; this test is called a gastroscopy.
If you suspect you have oesophageal cancer, you will need additional tests like an ultrasound, CT, or PET scan.
Oesophageal cancer is usually treatable. But it can be challenging to treat. The treatments depend on the size and location of the tumor.
Generally, treatments involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, certain targeted medicians, and immunotherapy.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 04 October 2022