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Esophageal Cancer Risk Factors 

Several factors are suspected in the development of esophageal cancer; they vary depending on the type of cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is often the result of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Adenocarcinoma is often associated with Barrett's esophagus, pathogenic change in the cells lining the lower esophagus due to long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In general, factors that can increase your risk of having esophageal cancer include:   

  • HPV infection  
  • medical history of head and neck cancers  
  • chemical injuries to esophagus due to ingestion of lye or other strong alkali  
  • sex – esophageal cancer is more common in males;   
  • age - occurrence of esophageal cancer is more common in people over 60; 
  • radiation Therapy in the thoracic cavity can cause you to be a victim of esophageal cancer;   
  • family history – your are at higher risk if you have close relatives with esophageal cancer  
  • Tobacco smoking - principally when it is associated with heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoke is a major risk of esophageal cancer.   
  • Consumption of nitrosamine, a carcinogenic chemical compound formed in cured meats by the conversion of nitrite 
  • Race - esophageal cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher among African-American descent than among Caucasians 
  • High consumption of smoked foods or hot drinks can lead to development of cancer in your esophagus.  
  •  Prolonged consumption of a diet low in fruits and vegetables can be responsible for many types of cancer including esophageal cancer. 
  • Certain diseases – esophageal cancer is associated with certain medical conditions such as Barrett's esophagus, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Celiac disease (autoimmune disorder of the small intestine), Plummer-Vinson syndrome (also called Paterson-Brown-Kelly syndrome or sideropenic dysphagia) and Howel-Evans syndrome (thickening of the outermost layer of the epidermis of the palms of the hands, and soles of the feet).  
  • Geographic factors – there is a higher incidence of esophageal cancer in china, Iceland, India and Japan, as well as the United Kingdom than all other areas of the world.  

 

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