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Stomach and oesophageal cancer

A malignant tumour found anywhere in the stomach or the oesophagus. Oesophageal cancer is slow-growing and usually detected in advanced stages, as there may not be any symptoms in the early stages.

Have I got any signs of oesophageal cancer?

  • difficult or painful swallowing
  • heartburn
  • vomiting blood
  • black or bloody stools
  • unexplained fatigue
  • feeling of choking when swallowing
  • discomfort in the upper abdomen particularly when eating
  • weight loss.

Am I at risk of oesophageal cancer?

  • high alcohol consumption
  • smoking tobacco
  • diet low in fresh fruit and vegetables
  • obesity
  • drinking very hot liquids
  • exposure to certain chemical fumes
  • family history of gastrointestinal disorders
  • certain medical conditions such as Barrett's oesophagus or gastro-intestinal reflux disease.

How do I get tested?

Your GP will examine you and take a thorough medical history.  The doctor will then refer you for tests.  These tests may include

  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • CT scan
  • PET scan
  • Bone scan
  • Ultrasound

My results are positive...what happens next?

Your GP will refer you to a surgeon, a medical oncologist or a radiation oncology specialist who will discuss treatment options with you which may include:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation
  • symptom management
Last updated: 3 June 2021