Esophageal cancer is a serious medical condition. It consists of a tumor that grows in the lining of the esophagus. If the tumor grows through the esophageal wall, it can spread to different areas of the body and have a seriously detrimental effect. Though most signs do not appear until the cancer has already progressed, knowing the symptoms of esophageal cancer can help to know when to get medical attention.
Eating problems often occur in individuals that are suffering from this affliction. Many people experience difficulty swallowing. It may start with an inability to swallow solid foods and eventually progress into extreme pain related to swallowing liquids. Food sticking to the esophagus is another common symptom, along with a chronic cough or hoarseness.
Digestion can also be affected with the presence of this disease. Many people experience indigestion and heartburn and often easily regurgitate undigested food. Throwing up blood or passing blood through bowel movements can be a common symptom as well. In some cases, extreme weight loss may even occur.
This disease is also very painful. Though pains in the throat may be a seemingly obvious symptom, there are other areas that it may affect which can seem entirely unrelated. Back pain is sometimes associated with this condition. In addition, pain experienced between the breastbone or shoulder blades can sometimes be associated with this type of cancer.
Contracting esophageal cancer can be extremely harmful and even deadly, if untreated. Though most signs do not show themselves until the later stages, it is still important to be aware of the symptoms of esophageal cancer. Recognizing the signs of cancer is one of the best defenses against the disease. Knowing when a body is experiencing medical problems and needs immediate attention from a doctor is one of the best ways to ensure that every measure will be taken to treat the disease.