4 signs of esophageal cancer to watch out for

Our food moves to our digestive system through the esophagus, a long, hollow tube that starts from the throat and ends in the stomach. But when tumors start growing long anywhere along the esophagus, specifically over the cells that line the insides, that’s when esophageal cancer occurs. Its symptoms usually start showing up at later stages. However, certain signs of esophageal cancer can help in early diagnosis. Some of them are:

Difficulty while swallowing
Difficult swallowing of food and liquids is one of the most prominent signs of esophageal cancer. As the cancerous cells grow slowly, a person finds it difficult to swallow food. The experience is similar to having food stuck in the chest or the throat. In some cases, it may even cause choking. This usually begins as a mild symptom and worsens over time as the lining of the esophagus narrows.

Acute pain in the chest
In some cases, esophageal cancer may trigger discomfort or pain in the chest. The sudden flare-up of pain usually occurs in the central part of the chest. Sometimes, the pain may be accompanied by a burning sensation or may feel like pressure building up. This type of sign is often reported as a symptom of other health problems, such as heartburn. So it is necessary to observe how often and when this symptom occurs and consult a healthcare expert.

Dark-colored stool
The cancerous cells inside grow into tumors, making the esophagus narrower. In such a case, certain foods may have an abrasive effect and lead to bleeding in the esophagus. In such cases, the blood and food pass through the digestive system, where the former will also show up in the stool. As a result, a person with esophageal cancer may have a dark-colored stool or observe blood in their stool.

Chronic cough
The esophagus begins to become narrow as cancer advances. As a result, a person may experience frequent irritation inside their throat. Moreover, as they begin to feel like something is stuck inside their throat, they may cough frequently. Over time, this becomes a habit leading to instances of chronic coughing. The frequent coughing also causes hoarseness of the voice, one of the significant tell-tale signs of esophageal cancer.

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