Signs of esophageal cancer are often not apparent in its early stages. If you have symptoms, they may include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). This is often the first symptom of esophageal cancer to appear.
- Painful swallowing (odynophagia)
- Indigestion and heartburn over long periods of time
- Pain, pressure or burning in the throat or chest
- Unintended weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Black tar-like stools
- Anemia, or low levels of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. This can lead to patients feeling run-down and weak.
- Vomiting, or expelling of stomach contents
- Regurgitation of food from the esophagus
- Persistent hiccups
- Chronic cough
These symptoms do not always mean you have esophageal cancer. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.
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