The experience of any illness can make lasting changes to your outlook. Each stage of this journey can bring its own challenges, it can be a lonely, stressful and isolating time and this both for patients, their families, carers and close friends and relatives

The Oesophageal Cancer Fund has a number of information resources that we are constantly working to develop that we hope you’ll find useful. Many can be found on our website in the Patient Information section and you can contact us for further information

Early Diagnosis

Early Diagnosis of Oesophageal Cancer as with any type of cancer is very important. Survival of Oesophageal Cancer increases if it is detected at an earlier stage. It is important that you do not ignore changes in your body.

Talk to your GP if you notice persistent ongoing problems with symptoms such as indigestion where you may experience pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, heartburn caused by acid moving up through the oesophagus from the stomach to the throat known as acid reflux, or if you have difficulties with eating or swallowing or have persistent coughing or hiccups or unexplained weight loss.

For those diagnosed with Barrett’s Oesophagus, and identified as at a higher risk of developing Oesophageal Cancer, your medical team will advise on how regularly you will need to have check ups. It is important to attend your appointments. If your symptoms change, develop or get worse you should make an appointment with your GP to speak about your symptoms and agree on measures to prevent future problems.

To discover more about Barrett’s Oesophagus please visit this section of our website.

Dealing with an Oesophageal Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be a worrying and daunting time for any patient and their loved ones. Your journey will be as individual as you are.

At such a sensitive time it can be hard to get your head around it all, so remember you’re fully supported by a team of medical professionals who will collaborate closely to help you on your journey inside the hospital walls, as well as a dedicated team of nurse specialists to enhance your post-surgery-recovery.

It might also be the first time you have heard about Oesophageal Cancer. It is very normal to experience a range of emotions when you are told that you have cancer there is no right or wrong way to feel. You may feel upset, shocked, worried and confused. It is important to know that everyone deals with their diagnosis differently in their own way.

  • You may need time to think and understand your own feelings, before speaking to others. Experiencing a mix of emotions throughout your diagnosis of Oesophageal Cancer, treatment and recovery is to be expected. Taking the time you need to process your feelings may help you feel more in control of your diagnosis and help you cope with it your way.

  • You may want to speak to your doctor further and get more information about your treatment options and what will happen next. You will need some time to think about what you have been told. You may forget to ask some questions or there may be information that you didn’t understand. So you may need to make another appointment to talk to your doctor again after you have taken some time to think about everything. We have a list of potential questions outlined in the resources section that could help you prepare for your meeting with your doctor.

  • You may decide you want to speak to another person who has had an experience of Oesophageal Cancer and if so we can connect you with our Oesophageal Cancer survivor support programme.

  • You may want to access free counselling. There are a number of different support services available across the country and we can provide you with that information also.


Be careful with online information. It may be difficult to understand the information presented online and the information you find may not apply to your individual situation. You can ask your doctor for recommended websites.

Patients and survivors of Oesophageal Cancer will say during their treatment and the days, weeks and months following the end of treatment, can be an especially difficult time. Life’s expected to simply go on, you’re expected to pick up where you left off. Yet, that’s not always possible. The experience of illness can make lasting changes to your outlook, even if you’re fully recovered. And some who’ve had cancer in the past can have other health problems in the future, some may even develop other cancers.

Each stage of this journey can bring its own challenges, it can be a lonely, stressful and isolating time. It’s important to think holistically, and to safeguard your nutritional, physical and psychological wellbeing as well as your overall outlook.

You can also empower yourself by taking time to fully understand your diagnosis, the diet and nutrition implications associated with this cancer, and how to best manage your unique journey, each stage along the way.

We have a number of information resources that we are constantly working to develop that we hope you’ll find useful.. Many can be found on our website and you can contact us for further information

The Irish Cancer Society has an information resource booklet on how to cope with a cancer diagnosis you may like to access this resource here

Resources for You

The Signs and Symptoms of Oesophageal Cancer

Early detection of Oesophageal Cancer is vital, it is important that you visit your doctor the moment you notice any of the symptoms persisting. It is important to be aware that other conditions can also account for these issues, but visiting your GP promptly is the best way to find out as early as possible.

Questions to ask - going to meet your doctor

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer, you will more than likely have questions for your doctor to understand your diagnosis and treatment options. It may feel overwhelming to think through the specific questions you have so this resource will hopefully help you in preparing to meet with your doctor.

Practical Supports from the Oesophageal Cancer Fund

Dietary Cards - We have a number of patient resources such as dietary cards and symptoms cards you can contact us and we will send you some resources

Tel: +353 86 069 7328

Email: info@ocf.ie

Read more

Oesophageal Cancer Survivor Support - If you would like to speak to someone who is a survivor of Oesophageal Cancer and has volunteered to help others please contact us. You can get support if you've been recently diagnosed or if you're dealing with treatment, including surgery. Information and Resources

If you have a question that is not covered in our website resources please get in touch. Tel: +353 86 069 7328 Email info@ocf.ie

Support Services Across the Country

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer, you will more than likely have questions for your doctor to understand your diagnosis and treatment options.

It may feel overwhelming to think through the specific questions you have so this resource will hopefully help you in preparing to meet with your doctor.

Eating Well Following Cancer Treatment

Oesophageal Cancer is different from many other cancers as the eating-related side effects don’t necessarily subside after treatment ends.

With this difficult cancer, your approach to everyday eating, your preferences and tastes and even where to go for dinner or how to negotiate menus, may need to be completely reassessed after diagnosis

Telling children about your diagnosis

Talking to others about your diagnosis

Survivor Stories

We are passionately committed to supporting everyone affected by Oesophageal Cancer and Barrett’s Oesophagus so they get the earliest and best support and treatment possible and live full, long lives knowing we are by their side.

We foster a support community for survivors, patients, their families and their carers to feel less alone and more connected. With our network of people who have shared the very specific experience of this disease, we know from patients and survivors alike just how much it can mean to connect with someone who really knows, what they are going through.

The Oesophageal Cancer Fund is privileged to be supported in our work by survivors of Oesophageal Cancer and family and friends affected by Oesophageal Cancer who have shared their stories with us in the hope that it will help someone else

Please visit the Your Stories section of our website for further information.

Join the Oesophageal Cancer Companion Programme

The Oesophageal Cancer Fund has an ongoing annual commitment to funding Oesophageal Cancer Research Programmes; a monthly gift will help us to maintain our commitments to Oesophageal Cancer research. Thank you.
Oesophageal Cancer Fund
Email:  info@ocf.ie
14 Merville Road,
Stillorgan
County Dublin A94 H526

Ireland
Tel: +353 86 069 7328
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