Doctor explains the symptoms of throat cancer

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Oesophageal cancer is a cancer that’s found anywhere in the oesophagus, sometimes called the gullet or food pipe. The oesophagus connects your mouth to your stomach. How serious oesophageal cancer is depends on where it is in the oesophagus, how big it is, if it has spread and your general health.

The most common symptom of oesophageal cancer is trouble swallowing, especially a feeling of food stuck in the throat.

With some patients, choking on food also occurs.

These symptoms gradually worsen over time, with an increase in pain on swallowing, as your oesophagus narrows from the growing cancer.

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Risk factors to the disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Chronic heartburn or acid reflux
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • GERD
  • Achalasia, a rare disorder of muscles in the lower oesophagus.

Oesophageal cancer is cancer of the gullet (oesophagus).

It is uncommon in the UK, however, over a period of 20 years or so the number of cases diagnosed each year has risen.

Around 8,200 people develop oesophageal cancer each year in the UK. 

Other symptoms to spot include:

  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Being sick
  • Pain in the chest
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting blood
  • Coughing
  • A hoarse voice
  • Acid reflux 



Digestive problems are often the first sign of oesophageal cancer, said John Hopkins Medicine.

The health site added: “Because of this, your gastroenterologist be the first doctor to suspect oesophageal cancer.

“Our gastroenterologists work collaboratively with our oesophageal cancer specialists, ensuring that you receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation.”

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