7 warning signs of esophageal cancer

Symptoms of esophageal cancer may include difficulty swallowing, reflux of food, heartburn, weight loss, and a persistent cough.

Esophageal cancer is an uncommon head and neck cancer. Symptoms of head and neck cancer are not specific and often resemble other common diseases. Symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, food regurgitation, heartburn, weight loss, persistent cough, etc.

Difficulty swallowing

Follow Very Well HealthDifficulty swallowing is the most common symptom of esophageal cancer. 90-95% of people with esophageal cancer experience difficulty swallowing. With cancer, the esophagus narrows, making it difficult for food to pass through and difficult to reach the stomach. The process of swallowing food takes longer than usual, causing the patient to choke, always feeling like food is stuck.

Initially, people with esophageal cancer only find it difficult to swallow solid, large foods, but later, swallowing soft foods and liquids also makes them feel pain. Changes in the esophagus force the patient to make unconscious dietary adjustments, such as chewing carefully, slower, and preferring to eat softer foods.

Difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing warns of esophageal cancer. Image: Freepik

Swallowing pain

Besides feeling difficult to swallow, swallowing pain is also a manifestation of this type of cancer. About 20% of people with esophageal cancer have a painful swallowing sensation and they often mistake it for a sore throat, sore throat, etc. You may feel pain for a few seconds after swallowing when food or liquid is swallowed. Pain can also occur if the cancer causes an open sore in the lining of the esophagus and invades surrounding tissues.


Food has difficulty passing through the esophagus, it causes reflux, vomiting. Follow Very Well Health, About 40% of people with esophageal cancer experience nausea and vomiting. They may vomit food or blood, especially when the tumor begins to bleed.

Unintentional weight loss

Unintentional weight loss is very common with cancer. Unintentional weight loss is when a person loses 5% or more of their body weight over a period of 6-12 months without fasting or exercising. Weight loss can be caused by difficulty swallowing, undernutrition, and changes in the metabolism of the larynx tumor itself.

Ợ Sour, Chest Pain and Indigestion

Burning sensation in the throat, heartburn often begins after a meal too full. This symptom appears in many different diseases such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux. For people with acid reflux, a change in the quality or severity of heartburn symptoms can signal the presence of esophageal cancer.

Persistent cough

A persistent cough occurs in about 20% of people diagnosed with the condition. The most common type of cough is a dry cough, which is irritating and occurs at any time of the day. Cough may be worse after eating.


Feeling hoarse, losing your voice, or having to clear your throat frequently can be early symptoms of esophageal cancer. However, hoarseness can also be caused by an upper respiratory infection, a sore throat, so it is difficult to distinguish. Hoarseness caused by esophageal cancer often involves a nerve called the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Mr. Chi
(According to Very Well Health)


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