Esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, but treatment can be much more successful if the condition is caught in its infancy. However, like you might imagine, catching cancer in an early stage when symptoms are less severe isn’t easy, which is why it’s so important to be mindful of the early warning signs. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the early warning signs and symptoms associated with esophageal cancer.
Early Indications Of Esophageal Cancer
A lot of the early warning signs on this list may not seem like a big deal in and of themselves, but if they occur in conjunction with one another or you have a family history of esophageal cancer, it’s imperative that you get screened by an esophageal specialist like Dr. Bhatti. Here’s a look at some of the early warning signs of esophageal cancer.
- Dull or chronic chest pain
- Chronic cough
- Difficult swallowing
- Regular instances of acid reflux or heartburn
- Weight loss without a direct known cause
Again, it’s important to look for these symptoms in conjunction with one another and to consider their duration. Going hoarse for a day or two after a long weekend or developing a cough because you came down with the flu aren’t really causes for concerns, but if you’re dealing with mild recurrent instances of chest discomfort and you just can’t ditch that cough, it’s best to be safe and have a specialist look at your esophagus. Either you end up getting a clean bill of health or you catch a problem in its infancy when it is much more treatable. That’s a win-win!
Aside from the above symptoms, it’s also worth noting some of the risk factors that could mean you’re more likely to develop the condition in the first place. For example, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, being diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease and having a family history of the condition all make you more likely to have esophageal tissue damage that could eventually turn into full blown cancer.
So if you are having any issues swallowing or eating, or if you’re just noticing that your upper chest is feeling uncomfortable, don’t just caulk it up as a problem that will go away on its own. Esophageal cancer is anywhere from 2x-10x more likely to be successfully treated when caught at the localized stage, but again, this is when symptoms are most mild. When it comes to something as important of your health, don’t just assume it’s a small problem that will eventually clear up. Put your health first and schedule an appointment with an esophageal specialist like Dr. Bhatti. As we mentioned above, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting your health first.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhatti’s office, give us a call today at (952) 368-3800.