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Cancer care: Stomach and esophageal cancer

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Stomach and esophageal cancer prevention and detection

Watch for symptoms

Stomach and esophageal cancer have a lot in common when it comes to prevention and detection. But stomach cancer symptoms can differ from esophageal cancer symptoms.

Stomach cancer symptoms

Early symptoms of stomach cancer often are not noticed.

Once stomach cancer symptoms appear, they may include:

Esophageal cancer symptoms

Swallowing difficulty is the most common symptom of esophageal cancer. You may complain of food getting stuck as you try to swallow it. If swallowing becomes a persistent problem, contact your health care provider.

You should also watch for other esophageal cancer symptoms:


Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
Reviewed by: Daniel Dunn, MD, medical director, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Program
First Published: 10/29/2009
Last Reviewed: 10/29/2009

Know your risks

Knowing what puts you at risk of getting cancer of the stomach or esophagus can help you take steps to prevent disease.

Tobacco and alcohol
Ulcers and heartburn
Poor nutrition

Race and family history
Being male

Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute; National Cancer Institute; American Cancer Society
Reviewed by: Daniel Dunn, MD, medical director, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Program
First Published: 10/29/2009
Last Reviewed: 10/29/2009

Tests you may have

Many of the tests used to diagnose stomach cancer are also used to find esophageal cancer. If your health care provider suspects either cancer, you may have one or more of these tests:

Biopsy
EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) with biopsy
Endoscopic ultrasound
Upper GI series
Thoracic CT scan
PET scan
Bronchoscopy
Other diagnostic tests

Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute; American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute
Reviewed by: Daniel Dunn, MD, medical director, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Program
First Published: 10/29/2009
Last Reviewed: 10/29/2009