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Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 29, 2024 ·  3 min read

5 Cancer Symptoms To Look Out For When You Eat

Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases that affects millions of people around the world. While it’s hard to detect the symptoms of cancer early on, there’s a possibility to spot them just by acknowledging some of the common signs associated with the disease. One of the best times to pay attention is actually around mealtimes, specifically, during and after you eat. These are what eating a meal can tell you about cancer.

5 Cancer Symptoms to Look Out For When You Eat

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Sitting down for a meal, we likely aren’t thinking much about cancer. According to doctors and cancer researchers, however, this is a good time to pay attention to it. Why? Because your ability to eat and how your body reacts to consuming food can signal to you that there might be a problem. There are signs and symptoms of various cancers based around food and eating, including stomach cancer, bowel cancer, ovarian cancer, esophageal cancer, and others. This is what to watch out for each time you have a meal or snack. (1)

Read More: 9 Foods That May Help to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

1. Unexplained Weight Loss

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This one isn’t specifically right around the time of eating, but it does involve the practice. Here’s the thing: If you have not changed anything about your lifestyle and are somehow “magically” losing weight, this is not usually a good sign. Unintentional weight loss can happen when you have cancer cells growing in your body that are consuming the energy from your food before it can be utilized by the body. Losing 10 pounds or more could be an indicator of cancer. So, if you find yourself dropping weight without a logical explanation, it’s time to seek medical advice. (2)

2. Difficulty Swallowing

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If you’re having difficulties swallowing your food, this could be an early symptom of cancer. This symptom is most commonly associated with upper gastrointestinal tract cancer such as esophageal or stomach cancer. These types of cancers can make it difficult for solid foods to pass through, and it can manifest as choking, coughing, or discomfort while swallowing. (3)

3. Persistent Heartburn

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Heartburn is a common symptom that most people associate with acid reflux. However, chronic heartburn is a sign that you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Long-term exposure to stomach acid can sometimes lead to esophageal cancer. If you experience frequent heartburn, it’s best to check it out with your healthcare provider. (4)

4. Changes in Bowel Movements

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Yes, you should look at your poo before you flush, as gross as that might sound. Changes in your bowel movements can point to colon or rectal cancer. You might notice that your bowel movements are more frequent or less frequent than usual. You might also notice that your stool has blood in it or that it’s black in color. These symptoms should never be ignored; they require immediate medical attention, and you should schedule an appointment with your physician.

Read More: 68-Year-Old California Man Cured of Both HIV and Blood Cancer, Doctors Reveal

5. Persistent Abdominal Pain

Persistent Abdominal Pain
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If you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain that doesn’t go away after a few days, it could be another sign of cancer. Abdominal pain is associated with cancer of the pancreas, liver, and stomach. A common feature of cancer-related abdominal pain is that it appears in the later stages of the disease. If you experience abdominal pain, it’s time to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

The Bottom Line

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You should be conscious of the symptoms of cancer, regardless of whether or not you eat healthy. By recognizing the signs early on, you can take the appropriate measures and seek medical attention before it becomes too late. Remember, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise can help reduce your risk of getting cancer in the first place. If you notice any of the above symptoms or any other unusual changes in your body, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Read More: Is Your Bladder Pain a UTI or Bladder Cancer? Look for THESE Warning Signs


  1. Signs and symptoms.” NHK
  2. Signs and Symptoms of Cancer.” Cancer Org
  3. Symptoms of oesophageal cancer.” NHK
  4. “Stomach Cancer.” Mayo Clinic