What is the most common presenting symptom of esophageal cancer?

Dysphagia alone or with unintentional weight loss is the most common presenting symptom, although esophageal cancer is often asymptomatic in early stages. Physicians should have a low threshold for evaluation with endoscopy if any symptoms are present.

How do most people get esophageal cancer?

People who smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, and those who chew tobacco, are more likely to develop esophageal cancer. But, while smoking greatly increases your risk, even nonsmokers can get esophageal cancer.

Can u feel esophageal cancer?

It may feel like food is stuck in the throat or the chest, or you may even choke on the food. This symptom is often mild in its early stages but gradually worsens as the disease progresses. Someone with esophageal cancer may experience pain in the middle of the chest that feels like pressure or burning.

How long can you have esophageal cancer without knowing?

Because esophageal cancer usually is not diagnosed until the disease has spread, the death rate is high. Fewer than 5% of people survive more than 5 years. Many die within a year of noticing the first symptoms.

Does anyone survive esophageal cancer?

The overall 5-year survival rate for people with esophageal cancer is 20%. Treatment for the disease has slowly improved. In the 1960s and 1970s, the overall 5-year survival rate was 5%. However, survival rates depend on several factors, including the stage of the cancer when it is first diagnosed.

What was your first symptom of esophageal cancer?

Dysphagia (trouble swallowing): It may the first sign of esophageal cancer. You may experience trouble swallowing because the food gets stuck in the throat or you choke on the food sometimes. Dysphagia generally worsens as cancer progresses into advanced stages.

Does esophageal cancer show up in bloodwork?

Certain blood tests can also be used to help a physician confirm an esophageal cancer diagnosis. For instance, a blood test can be used to detect anemia or check liver function; esophageal cancer can sometimes cause anemia if the tumor bleeds, and it may impact liver function if the cancer spreads.

Can esophageal cancer kill you?

Esophageal cancer is a painful disease that can be fatal. In the late stages of the cancer, the tumor may completely obstruct the esophagus, making it impossible to swallow.

How deadly is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer is relatively common and is very deadly. Each year in the United States, there are roughly 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer and 15,000 deaths from the disease.1. Most cancers of the upper two thirds of the esophagus arise from squamous cells and are called squamous cell or epidermoid cancers.

How do we diagnose esophageal cancer?

Part 1 of 4: Recognizing the Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer Pay attention to difficulty of swallowing. Difficulty of swallowing (also called dysphagia) is one of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer. Monitor your weight. Unintentional weight loss, especially of ten pounds a month or more, could be a sign of cancer. Take chest pain seriously. Watch for a burning sensation in the chest.

How does esophageal cancer affect the body?

Esophageal cancer mainly affects the body by causing blockage of your esophagus so that you are no longer able to eat enough calories. This can make you feel very tired and lose weight. If this progresses without treatment, the blockage may become complete.