Esophageal cancer has become one of the major types of cancer in recent past. Esophagus is 10 inch long tube which carries food from mouth to stomach and is present in the chest. The symptoms of esophageal cancer generally show up after the age of 45. No particular cause of esophageal cancer has not been found yet; however there are certain factors which increases the risk of esophageal cancer, the major factor being smoking and alcohol. You are at higher risk if you are overweight because those who are suffering from obesity suffer from acid reflux as well which causes cancer.
If you are suffering from diseases like tylosis, achalasia, plummer vinson syndrome and your diet is not balanced and contains a lot of red meat then too chances of esophageal cancer increases. Men are more prone to esophageal cancer let us see few major symptoms of esophageal cancer.
Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer:
It is one of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer. With the spread of cancer cells esophagus narrows due to which you will feel difficulty in swallowing foods in initial stages and in later stages it may worsen to such extent that even liquid can’t be swallowed easily. You will feel like food is stuck in the chest.
Pain While Swallowing:
If the tumor has spread to such extent that it has blocked esophagus then you may feel pain when you swallow the food. The pain can persist in the chest continuously if cancer cells have spread to surrounding parts.
Substantial weight loss is a symptom of cancer in the body. The weight loss occurs because your appetite reduces as a result of difficulty in swallowing so you start avoiding eating foods. This causes deficiency of nutrients in the body and causes tiredness and weakness.
Pain in Other Parts:
You may feel intense pain in the throat due to the cancer in esophagus. The pain can in even spread to other parts like breastbone and the shoulder blades.
If you are noticing changes in your voice and it has become hoarse and is not going even after clearing the throat then it may be a symptom of esophageal cancer. Consult a doctor to know the underlying cause of hoarseness.
Due to obstruction of food as a result of the cancer in esophagus, food may come back up instead of going to the stomach. You may also observe blood along with the food which is released from the tumors present in the esophagus.
Most of the symptoms of esophageal cancer can be caused due to various other complications. If you notice problem in swallowing food you must go for medical tests for esophageal cancer. Doctors use various imaging techniques to diagnose the disease, they may also look at your medical history and take help of endoscopy to locate the cancer.
There are several treatment options for esophageal cancer, surgery is the most efficient option, you can also take help of chemotherapy and radiation therapy which kills the cancer cells without harming other healthy cells.