Symptoms Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Bronwyn Long, DNP, MBA, RN (August 01, 2012) People with esophageal cancer may have symptoms. Some people who have early-stage disease do not have many symptoms, which means the cancer may not be detected right away. Symptoms may include: Food sticks in the esophagus and will not pass all the way to the stomach; you may choke or vomit up food that becomes stuck, Painful swallowing, Pain in the chest or back, Weight loss, Fatigue, Heartburn and/or Coughing or hoarseness. These symptoms may be caused by esophageal cancer or by other health conditions. Testing is done to make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan. Diagnosis Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.