Esophageal cancer history and symptoms

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Esophageal cancer Microchapters


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Differentiating Esophageal cancer from other Diseases

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Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hadeel Maksoud M.D.[2]


Patient history in esophageal cancer includes pain in the throat or chest, regurgitation of food and hoarseness of voice. Symptoms of esophageal cancer include dysphagia, odynophagia, weight loss, and hematemesis. It should be noted that superficial esophageal cancer may have an insidious onset, so screening for Barrett's esophagus is important in this case to diagnose cancer earlier.


Obtaining history is an important aspect of making a diagnosis of esophageal cancer. It provides an insight into severity, precipitating factors and associated comorbid conditions. Complete history will help determine the correct therapy and helps in determining the prognosis. The areas of focus should be on onset, duration, and progression of symptoms such as:[1][2]

Common symptoms

Common symptoms include:[3][4]

Less common symptoms include:


  1. Trate DM, Parkman HP, Fisher RS (1996). "Dysphagia. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment". Prim. Care. 23 (3): 417–32. PMID 8888335.
  2. Spechler SJ (1996). "Barrett's esophagus". Semin. Gastrointest. Dis. 7 (2): 51–60. PMID 8705259.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cameron AJ, Lomboy CT, Pera M, Carpenter HA (1995). "Adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction and Barrett's esophagus". Gastroenterology. 109 (5): 1541–6. PMID 7557137.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lieberman MD, Shriver CD, Bleckner S, Burt M (1995). "Carcinoma of the esophagus. Prognostic significance of histologic type". J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 109 (1): 130–8, discussion 139. doi:10.1016/S0022-5223(95)70428-0. PMID 7815789.

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