Esophageal Cancer: An Updated Review

Michael DiSiena, MD; Alexander Perelman, DO; John Birk, MD; Houman Rezaizadeh, MD


South Med J. 2021;114(3):161-168. 

In This Article

Signs and Symptoms

AC and SCC have similar presentations. It is unfortunate that they tend to be asymptomatic in the early stages, but as they advance over months, the cardinal symptom is progressive dysphagia over 3 to 6 months to solids. This occurs when the esophageal lumen is <13 mm. Additional symptoms such as odynophagia, chest pain, and weight loss are present 50% to 75% of the time. Hoarseness (associated with recurrent laryngeal nerve involvement) and iron-deficiency anemia (resulting from bleeding of ulcerated epithelium) also can be seen.[58] By the time a patient presents with dysphagia, they typically already have locally advanced disease of T3.[59]