Most patients present with difficulty swallowing which is usually painless in nature although some patients may also have pain. This difficulty will be initially limited to solids before progressing to intolerance of soft foods and liquids before absolute intolerance to oral intake and incessant vomiting or choking.
The dysphagia is invariably associated with significant weight loss and there may be a prior history of chronic heartburn and dyspepsia. Repeated regurgitation may also lead to pneumonia. Hoarseness of voice may also be present indicating either chronic inflammation or cancer spread.