Getting diagnosed with oesophageal cancer

You usually start by seeing your GP if you have symptoms. They will ask you about your symptoms and examine you.

They will then decide about whether to refer you for tests or to a specialist. You have further tests if you have cancer. These tests are to find out its size and whether it has spread. This is called staging.

Seeing your GP when you have symptoms of oesophageal cancer

See your GP if you notice a change that isn't normal for you or if you have any of the possible signs and symptoms of oesophageal cancer.

Referral to a specialist for symptoms of oesophageal cancer

Your GP should refer you to a specialist if your symptoms could be due to oesophageal cancer.

Screening for oesophageal cancer

There is no national screening programme for oesophageal cancer in the UK. But you may have tests or treatment if you are at an increased risk of developing it.

Tests for oesophageal cancer

You might have a number of tests to help diagnose oesophageal cancer and to find out the stage. This includes a test to look inside your oesophagus (gastroscopy).

Last reviewed: 
30 Aug 2023
Next review due: 
31 Aug 2026