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Signs and Symptoms

Note each part of the image to identify symptoms of oesophago-gastric cancer:

  1. Scales: unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite. Patients often report ‘not wanting to eat’, ‘food sticking’ etc. In summary the following need to be watched for: unexplained weight loss, persistent vomiting, tiredness (anaemia) and upper abdominal pain. Symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion) are common – 40% of the population are reported to experience these symptoms each year.
  2. Upper chest: Indigestion or heartburn on or off for 3 weeks or more.
  3. Stomach: feeling full earlier than normal. Symptoms associated with gastrointestinal bleeding. e.g. nausea, abdominal pain and fatigue
  4. Throat: Difficulty swallowing food for any length of time (this is a Red Flag Symptom). Many patients describe food 'sticking' when swallowing.
  5. Blood vessel in arm: iron deficiency anaemia shown as fatigue and/or breathlessness.
  6. OTC medicines: antacids, heartburn liquid – persistent use can cover up signs of cancer.