Signs and symptoms of oesophageal cancer

Difficulty swallowing is the most common symptom of oesophageal cancer.

Some symptoms of oesophageal cancer can be like the symptoms of other common conditions. Symptoms include:

  • difficulty swallowing because of feeling that your food is sticking in your throat or chest – this is the most common symptom of oesophageal cancer
  • food coming back up before reaching the stomach (regurgitation), feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • weight loss
  • pain in the chest or back, or pain in the throat or chest when swallowing
  • indigestion or heartburn that does not go away
  • a hoarse voice or a cough that does not go away.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions. But it is important to get them checked by your GP. They can arrange tests or refer you to a specialist if needed.

We understand that showing any symptoms of what could be cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible. We're also here if you need someone to talk to. You can: