Signs and symptoms
posted by smaslug
19 October 2023

Concern about Oesophageal Cancer Symptoms

Last reply: 24 October 2023 16:28

Hi all. I hope it is okay for me to post here (if not- apologies and I will delete)

I am concerned about oesophageal cancer symptoms. However, I feel like these will be dismissed if I go to a doctor. I think part of it is health anxiety, but another part is that my symptoms have increased.

I've had a narrow oesophagus since I was a teenager (I'm now in my mid-twenties). It often feels tight, like it's closing up, and that I cannot properly clear my throat. I used to be able to clear it normally before this, but now I need to clear it much more harshly if that makes sense. I had an endoscopy as a teenager, and it came back clear. They suggested the tightness was due to stress. I had another endoscopy about 2/3 years ago, as I still had symptoms and had frequent nausea. This was also clear. Obviously I still have symptoms so something doesn't feel right, but I was relieved that these tests came back okay.

The issue now is that I feel like symptoms have worsened. I'm having to clear my throat more frequently and harsher. It also feels like something is stuck in my throat. It feels like food/drink isn't being pushed down correctly by my throat muscles. Water feels like it sticks in my throat and I have to try to clear it. My voice also goes hoarse very quickly if I talk for a long time in situations like presentations. In addition, I have frequent (almost daily) acid reflux, which I know can be a risk factor as well as a symptom in itself.

I'm sure it's fine given the previous test results, but I can't help but worry with the increase in symptoms. My father passed from oesophageal cancer a few years ago, so I think I may just be extra cautious around this sort of thing, but it was caught late, and he always had a narrow oesophagus too, so that's always in the back of my mind.

I'm trying to reassure myself that I'm just worrying because of my dad, and remind myself that my last tests were okay, but I also don't want to ignore the issues on the off chance something is wrong.

Since I feel biased towards checking it out due to the anxiety around it, I thought it might be good to ask others' opinions. Is it worth going to the doctor about, or am I likely just overthinking things? If so, would they even refer me for an endoscopy again considering I've already had two that came back okay? I also don't want to use up an appointment like this since I know people need those, but I'm also concerned about what could happen if I don't check it out. Any advice appreciated, thank you.

1 comment


commented by Cancer Nurse
24 October 2023

24 October 2023 16:28

Dear Smaslug

Thank you for posting your message on our online community.

It is difficult for you have these symptoms knowing that your father had oesophageal cancer and that it was diagnosed at a late stage. Naturally you do not want to ignore changes you have noticed. It would be good if you speak to your GP about these new symptoms for his reassurance or advice re tests.

Meanwhile it would be good to speak to you on the phone about the risk factors of oesophageal cancer and general lifestyle changes you may be able to do to reduce your risk and improve your wellbeing.

I do hope we will hear from you. We are all cancer nurses on our support line and our phone number is 1800 200 700. We are here Mon-Fri 9-5pm.

Kind regards

Cancer Nurse

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