The esophagus is the food pipe that connects your mouth to the stomach. Esophageal cancer can present anywhere in the esophagus. It is the seventh most common cancer. It is hard to identify the common signs of this cancer because of their generic nature. However, it is significant to recognize the early symptoms as early diagnosis of any condition/disorder is the key to success. Early diagnosis helps in getting the favorable outcomes of the respective treatment.
One of the prime symptoms of oesophageal cancer, which is also considered an early warning sign, is dysphagia or problems while swallowing.
Dysphagia - If you face difficulties in eating your food such as choking or coughing whenever you eat or drink, it could be a sign of dysphagia which is the most common symptom of oesophageal cancer. Sometimes food comes back to the nose or mouth while trying to swallow. Lying down makes it easier for the food to travel back up into the esophagus, which can worsen the symptom.
One may feel difficulty in chewing food properly. Thus, the patient is forced to swallow the unchewed food which can further cause pain and discomfort. One may also have a feeling that something is stuck in your throat.
Dysphagia is not clearly visible at the beginning. However, as cancer grows, it usually gets worse and more painful as the opening in the esophagus will get smaller.
Other symptoms - Apart from the difficulty in swallowing, other symptoms of this cancer include
- Acid reflux
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the chest
- Hoarse voice
If any of these symptoms persist longer for more than a couple of weeks, then you should definitely speak to your doctor.
Tips to reduce the risk of developing oesophageal cancer
- Avoid smoking or use of tobacco or alcohol (drinking). This is the first step you should take in case you indulge in this.
- Apart from this, it is important to eat a healthy and nutritious diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.
- Your plate should be colorful. Adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet will benefit you in both the short and long run.
- Ensure that you aren’t obese or overweight. Maintain a healthy weight by doing regular exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet.
(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)