Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
180 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

Are constant cough and back pain signs of esophageal cancer?

Hello doctor(s),
Im a 22 year old Male - Ive been coughing for about a year, and recently started having gagging episodes 10-15 times a day. Ive been given Proton Pump Inhibitors. For the past few days, Ive been experiencing a strange back pain when I swallow food. No Dysphagia though, just Odynophagia. So far its been found that I do NOT have H pylori, or ulcers, or gallstones etc. But we still havent done an endoscopy. Im being told to wait 4 weeks to get that done. My concern is, do my symptoms resemble esophegal cancer? And is 4 weeks a lot of time for this possible cancer to develop? Im so anxious I havent been to work in a week and its destroying my mind. ANy advice would help so much ....
Mon, 27 Jul 2015
Report Abuse
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Medical Topics
Radiologist 's  Response
Thanks for writing in.

A constant cough and back pain in a young male is not likely to be a cancer. Such acute symptoms are more likely to be due to infection in the throat. Please continue taking proton pump inhibitors. If the odynophagia increases then you should go back to your doctor and get examined for an oral examination and probably a neck CT scan to know if there is any abscess which is evolving. If there is significant infection then treatment is with a short course of antibiotics.

Endoscopy is done when the infection has been treated and the inflammation is reduced and is safe to do after 4 weeks in your case. In my opinion, the first possibility is an acute pharyngitis or infection of the upper esophagus. Please do not worry.
I find this answer helpful
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
This is a short, free answer. For a more detailed, immediate answer, try our premium service [Sample answer]
Share on

Related questions you may be interested in

doctor1 MD

I m very concerned about having esophageal cancer. In 2009 I didn t have trouble swallowing or food getting stuck that i can remember, but I did...

Recent questions on  Odynophagia

doctor1 MD

in general, what dietary recommendations alleviate odynophagia , as experienced by a paitent receiving radiation therapy for esophageal cancer?

doctor1 MD

What is the medical term for difficulty in swallowing?

doctor1 MD

Good morning. I recently had the shingles virus and was treated with Valtrex . For the last 24 hours I have been experiencing extreme discomfort...

doctor1 MD

Hello doctor(s),
Im a 22 year old Male - Ive been coughing for about a year, and recently started having gagging episodes 10-15 times a day. Ive...

doctor1 MD

Hi 22 yo male c/o odynophagia x2 d started suddenly and associated with swallowing solids or liquids. Chest pain just under sternum is also...

doctor1 MD

hi a couple of days ago i swallowed a tablet lansoprozole and it felt like it had got stuck in my chest now when i eat or drink everything feels...

doctor1 MD

My husband is having pain in the right side of his chest when he swallows. It started suddenly yesterday, only hurting when he drank. Throughout...