Symptoms, Risks, & Diagnosis

Symptoms: Cancer of the esophagus commonly presents with clear symptoms, unfortunately, this is usually when cancer has advanced making it more difficult to treat. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Persistent cough or hoarseness in breath

Risk factors of Esophageal Cancer? Genetics, age, gender, obesity, and diet are common contributors to risk of developing esophageal cancer. Additionally, there is a common correlation between the use of tobacco and alcohol and patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Unmanaged acid reflux, anatomical deformities, and injury to the esophagus can also put a person at risk.

Diagnosis: If a patient presents with respective symptoms, tests and imaging may be performed to confirm or rule out esophageal cancer. Such tests and medical imaging include:

  • Barium swallow test
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan
  • Endoscopy
  • Lab Tests of the biopsy sample
  • MRI Scan
  • PET Scan
  • Review of medical history and physical exam