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A member asked:

Can esophageal cancer be asymmptomatic?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology 29 years experience
At first, yes.: This cancer may be unnoticable until it is fairly advanced. Dysphagia, or inability to swallow solid foods, may be easily overlooked at first. It gets noticed when it gets worse for solids and then liquids. Pain or odynophagia, hoarseness, and pulmonary aspiration can also occur. Double contrast barium swallow is a good screening test, while flexible esopagogastroscopy is the best.
Dr. Christopher Morse
Thoracic Surgery 23 years experience
Yes: Frequent heartburn and trouble swallowing are common symptoms of gerd (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which can lead to barrett's esophagus. Repeat exposure to acid can result in damage to the esophagus and produce precancerous cells. Difficulty swallowing is a concerning finding and should be addressed with a barium study or egd.
Thoracic Surgery 50 years experience
Yes: In fact when it is early, one does not have symptoms. It is difficult to diagnose without symptoms as diagnosis is based on biopsy by endoscopy which is usually done when symptoms develop. Therefore, any swallowing problem or stomach upset needs to be evaluated.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 21 years experience
Unfortunately YES: This link may help: http://www.Cancer.Net/cancer-types/esophageal-cancer/symptoms-and-signs.

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Last updated Dec 30, 2016

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