In the UK, around 9,000 people are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer each year.
Oesophageal or ‘gullet’ cancer is cancer which arises in the food pipe, connecting your mouth and stomach. It is usually picked up at an endoscopy, with biopsies taken, which usually confirm the tissue type and diagnosis.
The main symptoms of oesophageal cancer are difficulty swallowing, weight loss, regurgitation of food and indigestion/heartburn that doesn’t go away.
In the UK, around 6,500 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer each year.
Gastric cancer or ‘stomach’ cancer arises in the muscular, stretchy organ which stores food and helps to digest foods. The upper part of the stomach joins to the oesophagus, the lower part joins to the first part of your small bowel, called the duodenum.
The main symptoms of gastric cancer are heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t go away, loss of appetite, feeling full after eating a small amount and weight loss.
There are also less common cancer types that can start in the oesophagus and stomach, called GIST tumours. These are ‘gastrointestinal stromal tumours’, a type of sarcoma, which can develop in the connective tissues, and are treated differently than normal oesophageal or gastric cancers.