A member asked:

I am having trouble swallowing. does this mean i have esophageal cancer?

5 doctors weighed in across 3 answers

Not necessarily: However, you should see your doctor and be evaluated with what is called a barium esophagram. This is a study that looks at the x-ray contours of your esophagus. This may need to be followed up with a flexible endoscopy, whcih is a camera that looks inside your esophagus to find any abnormalities.

Answered 2/13/2013

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Dr. Jon Spiers answered

Specializes in Thoracic Surgery

Not necessarily: Esophageal cancer can cause difficulty swallowing, but there are many more common causes that are not nearly so lethal. For example, you may have a motility disorder or a bit of scarring - so you need to talk to your doctor to determine just what is going on with you.

Answered 7/2/2013

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Dr. Nathaniel Evans III answered

Specializes in Surgery - Thoracic

No, but...: There are several causes of trouble swallowing (or dysphagia). Esophageal cancer is a very rare cause especially in young people. But, dysphagia definitely warrants evaluation at least by your primary care physician and probably by a gastroenterologist. You may need a special x-ray called a barium swallow or an endoscopy to investigate the cause.

Answered 12/9/2013

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