Typically, the first symptom of cancer that develops in the esophagus is difficulty swallowing, which may feel as if food is stuck in the throat and may lead to choking.
Although this symptom is often mild to start, as the tumor grows, it generally worsens and may eventually lead to an inability to swallow liquid.
How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?
In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose esophageal cancer:
- Barium swallow, also called an esophagram.
- Upper endoscopy, also called esophagus-gastric-duodenoscopy, or EGD.
- Endoscopic ultrasound.
- Molecular testing of the tumor.
What is the first sign of esophageal cancer?
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include: Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) Weight loss without trying. Chest pain, pressure or burning.
How long can esophageal cancer go undetected?
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.
Can you see esophageal cancer on CT scan?
An EUS also helps stage esophageal cancer, which guides treatment decisions and prognosis assessments. CT scan for esophageal cancer uses X-ray images to present detailed images of the esophagus and surrounding tissues. It also helps to identify the spread of cancer to other distant organs, such as the liver.