Esophageal Cancer: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages. When this cancer does cause symptoms, they’re often like those you might have with other health issues, such as indigestion.

Early symptoms of esophageal cancer can include the following:

  • Trouble swallowing. Swallowing dry solid foods, such as meat, bread, or raw vegetables may be especially hard.

  • Pressure or burning in your chest after swallowing

  • A feeling that food is stuck in your throat

  • Weight loss

  • Heartburn

  • Indigestion

  • Frequent choking

As esophageal cancer gets worse, symptoms can become more severe. You may have the following:

  • Trouble swallowing liquids

  • Trouble swallowing saliva

  • Hoarseness

  • Coughing

  • Vomiting

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other health problems. But it’s important to see your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have esophageal cancer.