A 21-year-old member asked:
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can esophageal cancer cause swallowing disorders?

3 doctor answers
Dr. David Cooke
22 years experience Thoracic Surgery
Yes: The major disorder is the inability to swallow food or liquid comfortably. Esophageal cancer is generally circumferential, like a doughnut. The hole or the lumen becomes smaller as the cancer grows, making it difficult for food and then liquid to pass through. This is called dysphagia. It can be treated with radiation, placing a stent or surgery with removal and replacement of the esophagus.
Answered on Jul 27, 2014
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4 thanks
Dr. Ronda Alexander
19 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Be careful: Both the cancer, itself, and the treatments (radiation and surgery with maybe chemo) can all cause "dysphagia" or swallowing trouble. The esophagus is the pipe that transports the food from the throat down to the stomach. Any tumor there can create an obstacle that makes a person use much more effort to swallow than normal. This is serious so it must get checked out.
Answered on Mar 12, 2020
Dr. Loki Skylizard
20 years experience Thoracic Surgery
Yes: Unfortunately, esophageal cancer often develops and progresses without noticeable symptoms. Eventually, it comes to your attention with difficulty swallowing, i.e. Tumor obstruction. You may find some helpful information on this site: http://www.Cancer.Net/cancer-types/esophageal-cancer/symptoms-and-signs.
Answered on Feb 9, 2013

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