Oesophageal Patients Association

should i be worried

hi all, i am worried sick. i do have docs appt next week, but just wanted to ask if anybody could shed some light on this. i dont think i have O S just because i am on the nhs site, but I am worried. a while ago i had a persistent cough and went to docs as it was affecting me in the workplace. while there i mentioned i felt i had a little lump in my throat when i swalled and it had been like that for quite a while before the cough. she treated the cough and ignored what i said about my throat. now 2 months on, i have a permanent feeling like there is a blockage where the OS joins the stomache between the ribs. Its not painful but very uncomfortable. When I swallow anything, be it food, drink or my own saliva it feels it gets stucks where the lump feeling is. after i eat i often get the feeling of regurgitating and even when i am just at my desk at work i am getting discomfort from where the lump/blockage feeling is. At its worst when I can feel it strongly i am getting discomfort in my back. I can swallow, but always get the feeling everything is getting stuck on the way down. I am otherwise healthy, dont drink have never smoked and only have a thyroid problem for which i have been on medication for 7 years. Iam not asking anybody for a diagnosis, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF ANYBODYS SYMPTONS WERE LIKE THIS ............i only go to docs when having a check up for the thyroid or that cough recently, as i am not confident they can be bothered with anything these days, SHOULD I INSIST ON A ENDESCOPE INVESTIGATION to be sure and for peace of mind, or am i making to much of this? Normally, nothing bothers me, but my gut feeling is this is serious, I am 55.

11 Replies

Hi Cameron

I personally did not have the symptoms you described, mine felt to me like an ulcer. However from what I have read on this site symptoms do vary. At the end of the day we all deserve peace of mind and I see nothing wrong with insisting on further investigation. Please try to stay positive, I know its difficult when you are worried.

Please let us know how you get on, we are here to support each other on this site. I know how much it has helped me.

Good luck Cameron.



Hi Cameron,

In answer to your question and only my personal opinion,yes you should ask for further investigation, at least to put your mind at rest. I had a barium meal xray first (completely painless) which showed a problem/blockage in the gullet. This was followed by an endoscopy under sedation. My symptoms (which were similar to yours, that doesn't mean they are the same though!) began in the November but I didn't get to surgery till June. My tumour was one third of the way down from my throat. I am nearly 2 years post op on now. I know stress can also cause muscle spasm which can often give similar symptoms but you are asking for opinions and mine is yes,it would be best to get your symptoms fully checked out. I should have been more assertive and and been investigated earlier with hindsight but it's always easier looking back!

Please let us know how you get on? All best wishes.



Everybody can have different symptons, but symptoms need a diagnosis, a referral from your GP to a specialist in your area asap. This should help ease your peace of mind and help towards treatment.

Dawn at OPA in birmingham will know the centre to your nearest location.

I found that the unknown at a time like this is probably the worst, knowing did help.but I am now 18 yrs after finding out the worst and still going strong.

Best wishes and I'm sure there will be plenty of people out there thinking of you



Hi Cameron,

The reflux cough is quite common but often overlooked or misdiagnosed.

My cough defined me. It was so bad, I'd nearly pass out when I had a coughing fit - once or twice a day. And I used to have to sit up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night coughing - frequently.

But the doctors just kept sending me to ENT until I realised, and pointed out to them, that it was caused by aspirating refluxate. (I had a fundoplication to stop my reflux.)

I don't have cancer but I do have Barrett's Oesophagus.

The lump in the throat feeling is also a fairly common symptom of reflux. It's medical name is globus hystericus if you want to look it up.

I also used to get dysphagia when food would stick in my oesophagus. Quite alarming and painful taking a time to proceed to the stomach. I still do occasionally even after my operation.

But do ask for endoscopy to find out what is going on. That's how my Barrett's came to light and I am now receiving two - yearly surveillance to ensure it doesn't become cancerous.

All the best



Yes go to GP as you need a endoscope.Now sooner than later.It may well be nothing to worry about.Could be an hernia BUT if it is anything more time is crucial.These things cannot be left !! go to GP next week please


Can understand your worry and one should never ignore symptoms of this kind and you certainly need them to be investigated . BUT please don't automatically assume it is cancer if I were your GP and with your history of a thyroid problem and those symptoms I would certainly be considering

Whether you have a goitre ? Good luck and do let us know how it goes.



I too had the same symptoms as you and was messed about for week it was when I saw a different doctor in our practise that I was offered an endoscopy.

I too was not a drinker or a smoker and the same age as you. I am now 5 years post-op and feeling great.


hi guys, thanks to everybody who has left a blog, i have taken onboard all the comments.....i will let you know how i get on at the docs on tuesdays.


I think that setting out your symptoms in the way you have done would be really helpful so that your GP gets the full story. Food 'sticking' is something that should result in referral for an endoscopy. An endoscopy is a miniature camera that is put down your throat. Ask for a sedative. You will have to have somebody to accompany you home afterwards but when I have had them I did not feel a thing!

Lots of people have endoscopies and it is the best way of diagnosing what is wrong. It is a bit like women who feel a lump in their breast - most of the time there is not a serious problem. But you do need to have it checked out without delay.

If there is a problem getting referred for an endoscopy please give our helpline a ring on 0121 704 9860. As it happens, there are some Department of Health pilot schemes that have just started where cases like yours are referred for an endoscopy straight away. One of them is in Wandsworth, for instance. You can find out more at actionagainstheartburn.org.uk So you can now tell the doctor that you 'know about' these campaigns even if it is not in your area!

There are 43000 GPs in the UK and only 8000 cases of oeosphageal cancer, so they will not come across cases very often, but they do see lots of cases of indigestion, heartburn and so on, and from their perspective it can be very difficult for them to differentiate which cases to refer on for endoscopy unless you describe what you are experiencing very precisely. Try writing it down beforehand and think about taking somebody with you.


Do go to your GP and insist on a referral for endoscopy I had very similar symptoms though without the cough and was diagnosed with Oesophagal Cancer. The earlier diagnosis the better.


what happened Cameron? i have the same symthons


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