Esophageal cancer can be difficult to detect early on because it may not cause noticeable symptoms until a tumor gets big enough to interfere with swallowing. Unfortunately, the other early warning signs of esophageal cancer are not specific—they may result from a variety of medical issues.
If you have trouble swallowing, have pain with swallowing, or frequently choke on food, see your doctor to find out the reason. Difficulty swallowing may start with foods like meat, bread, or raw vegetables, but as a tumor grows, even liquids may be painful to swallow.
Alert your doctor if you experience any of these other potential early warning signs for a prolonged period.
- Pressure or burning in your chest
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain behind your breastbone or in your throat