If you've had heartburn most days for three weeks or more, tell your doctor. Chances are it's nothing serious, but you're not wasting anyone's time by getting it checked out. Call your GP today.
Some symptoms may be caused by other conditions, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which may still need treatment. But don't try to diagnose yourself. Go and see your doctor now to find out for sure.
Having heartburn most days for three weeks or more can be a sign of oesphago-gastric cancer, which is why it's so important to see your doctor straight away. Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor could save your life.
Going to the doctor straight away was the best thing I ever did.
Alan Bainbridge, aged 71
Having heartburn most days for three weeks or more is a common sign of oesophageal cancer or stomach cancer.
Other symptoms include:
If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP as soon as possible. If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms, insist they see their doctor.
You're not wasting anyone's time by getting your symptoms checked out, and your mind will be put at rest if it's not serious.
At your appointment, your GP will take a detailed look at your medical history and carry out a physical examination.
You may also be referred to a hospital to see a specialist if further examinations and tests are needed.
Find out what to expect when you see your doctor – watch the video.
The oesophagus (more commonly known as the gullet or food pipe) is the long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.
Cancer of the oesophagus is also called oesophageal cancer. Sometimes, oesophageal and stomach cancers are known as oesophago-gastric cancers.
There are around 12,600 new cases of these two cancers in England every year. Both cancers affect men and women, but are more common in men. More than 9 out of 10 people who get cancer of the oesophagus or stomach are over 50.
A healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk of oesophago-gastric cancers. Some ways to stay healthy are:
For more information on how to reduce your risk of cancer, visit nhs.uk/reduce-your-risk.
Content last reviewed: June 2016