Oesophageal cancer

At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre we know that a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event. We also know that every cancer is different, just like every person is different. We are dedicated to supporting and guiding you throughout your care. On this page you can learn about symptoms of oesophageal cancer and the potential treatment pathway.

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What is oesophageal cancer?

The oesophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Oesophageal cancer is abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells within the oesophagus. There are a number of different types of cells that make up the oesophagus, meaning there are a number of different types of oesophageal cancer. All these cancers are rare, and the type that of cancer that occurs is related to the location along the oesophagus that it affects. 

What are the symptoms of oesophageal cancer?

If you have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor. These symptoms may also occur for ailments other than cancer. Your doctor will advise if you need tests and where you should go to have these tests. 

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Acid reflux, indigestion or heartburn
  • Inability to keep food down, meaning it comes back up as soon as you swallow
  • Difficulty eating, leading to weight loss
  • Pain in the centre of your chest, under your breastbone
  • Persistent cough, or one that is brought on by eating
  • Coughing up blood
  • Dark bowel motions
This information should not be used to replace medical advice.

Can I be treated at the ONJ Centre?

Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.

how to get a referral