MedicineWorld.org Oncology - Cancer - esophageal cancer
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|MedicineWorld.Org: Esophageal cancer
What all factors predispose to esophageal cancer?
Various substances and conditions were shown to predispose to esophageal cancer (known as risk factors). More established risk factors for esophageal cancer are discussed below.
Smoking is associated with increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. If a smoker uses excess alcohol, the risk is greatly magnified to more than the combined effects of smoking and alcohol.
Excess alcohol use increases the risk of esophageal cancer. If combined with smoking the risk is magnified as mentioned above.
Diet, which is high in fat, low in protein and low in carbohydrate, has shown to increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Use of nitrosamine, (a food additive some times used in Chinese food) may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
The risk of developing esophageal cancer increases with age. The highest risk of esophageal cancer is in age group 7o to 80.
Men have three fold increased risk of developing esophageal cancer compared to women.
African American race has three fold increased risk of developing esophageal cancer compared to the Caucasians.
- Long term irritation of esophagus by acid
People who suffer from long term acid eructation or upper abdominal discomfort may be suffering from a condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflex disease) which basically means there is leaking of the acid from the stomach to the esophagus. People who have long term GERD are at increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.
- Barretts esophagus
People who have long term GERD (gastroesophageal reflex disease) may develop a condition called Barretts esophagus. In this condition the cells lining the esophagus at the site of constant contact changes to different cell type due to long term irritation of the acid. Barretts esophagus is associated with a very high risk of esophageal cancer.
- Occupational exposure to chemicals
Long-term exposure to some chemicals like perchloroethylene may increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Perchloroethylene is commonly used in the dry-cleaning industry and subsequently dry cleaning workers have a higher risk of esophageal cancer.
- Frequent consumption of very hot liquids
Frequent consumption of very hot liquids may increase your risk of esophageal cancer.
- Caustic injury to esophagus
Accidental ingestion of highly irritant chemicals like lye may lead to increased risk of developing esophageal cancer several years after the actual ingestion of the injurious chemical.
Tylosis is a rare genetically inherited disease with increasing thickening of skin of the palms and soles. Patients who have tylosis may have wart like growths in the esophagus and have a very high risk (about 40%) of developing esophageal cancer.
- Severe iron deficiency
Severe iron deficiency can lead to a condition called Plummer-Vinson-Patterson-Kelly syndrome with anemia, inflammation of the tongue and brittle finger nails. This condition is associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer.
- Prior history of cancer
People who previously had cancer of airway system and digestive system may have increased risk of developing esophageal cancer
Achalasia is a condition in which the lower end of esophagus remains contracted, causing obstruction of flow of food and drinks to the stomach. Esophagus above the level of obstruction gets narrow and dilated. Continuation of this problem over a long period of time predisposes to development of esophageal cancer.
|Esophageal cancer: resources
Esophageal cancer risk factors
Do We Know What Causes Esophagus Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
What Are the Risk Factors for Esophagus Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
Dietary Habits Associated With Esophageal Cancer (Dept. of Agriculture)
Barretts Esophagus (Jackson Gastroentrology)
Barretts esophagus (Torgan)
|Esophageal cancer: Selected reading
The Official Patient's Sourcebook on Esophageal Cancer
by Icon Health Publications
21st Century Complete Medical Guide to Esophageal Cancer
by PM Medical Health News
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