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Esophageal Cancer Symptoms

Esophageal cancer symptoms are typically very mild or even unnoticeable when the cancer first develops. However, as this disease progresses, warning signs usually significantly worsen and can become a hindrance to a patient’s life.

One of the earliest and most common symptoms to develop in patients with cancer of the esophagus is difficulty swallowing, a condition known as dysphagia. Many patients will have choking or coughing episodes when trying to swallow, while others may simply have the sensation that something is stuck in their throat or chest. As esophageal cancer progresses, dysphagia can become more severe and may even begin affecting a patient’s ability to drink liquids.

Some other common esophageal cancer symptoms include:

  • Heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Bloody stool and/or bleeding in the esophagus
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest (typically behind the chest bone)

Additionally, if esophagus cancer has spread throughout the body, a variety of other symptoms may develop, such as hoarseness, chronic cough, back pain, hiccups, and others.

At Tampa General Hospital, patients are treated by a team of radiation oncologists, surgeons, and other specialists. We strive to provide our patients with the best possible treatment outcomes with leading-edge technologies and treatment plans that are tailored to each patient’s unique circumstances.

For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool or call (813) 844-2200.