Esophageal cancer, as well as any other form of cancer, is best to be treated at an early stage since then, the chances for recovery are the greatest. Yet, this type of cancer is hard to notice before too late, when severe symptoms start taking place. Nevertheless, there are signs and symptoms you can be on the lookout for, especially if there are any risk factors for suffering from this disease.
Early Signs of Esophageal Cancer
If you notice that your swallowing is difficult or feel that something is stuck in your throat, making it hard for food to pass, you might need to pay your doctor a visit. If these symptoms get combined with a rapid weight loss and pain in the chest and the throat, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
In most cases, the symptoms mentioned above stem from a tumor located in the esophagus, preventing food from reaching the stomach easily, triggering pain and discomfort you are feeling. However, these symptoms do not appear until the tumor is big enough to cause problems, which is during the advanced stage of this cancer.
Next, once you get diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, being a precancerous condition, your chances of developing esophageal cancer increase significantly. Here, the stomach acids damage the lower portion of your esophagus, making you more prone to cancer. Thus, do not ignore recurrent GERD or acid reflux, since these phenomena can easily evolve to Barrett's esophagus.
Taking Action against Esophageal Cancer
Other possible signs of early stage esophageal cancer are recurrent heartburn or chronic heartburn. If you suffer from any of these conditions, seek medical assistance and do your best to treat the condition timely, before it advances into something more serious. Any heartburn reappearing for longer than 10 years needs to be treated.
Diagnosing process involves endoscopy, where your doctor inserts a camera in your mouth, reaching your esophagus and stomach. Through a scope onto which the camera is placed, the doctor will observe your body for any signs of esophageal cancer or other conditions which require medical treatment.
All in all, upon noticing any abnormalities related to your esophageal health, seek medical assistance. Do not wait until too late. Rather, take good care of your health, avoid foods which trigger heartburn and treat all possible precursors of esophageal cancer on time, preventing this condition effectively.
The sooner you react, the greater your chances for a successful treatment are. So, do not ignore your health problems and seek help.