Of all cancer cases in the US, only about 1% is esophageal cancer. However, this type of cancer involving the esophagus, the long tube that connects your mouth to your stomach, is so much more common in other parts of the globe such as India, Northern China, Iran and Southern Africa.
Doctors, to date, do not really know what causes esophageal cancer to strike. However, they are aware of certain risk factors for it. A risk factor can be anything that can increase your likelihood of developing a certain disease.
In the case of esophageal cancer, there are a number of risk factors involved — some of them you have control over, while others there is nothing you can do about. But just because you have some of the risk factors for esophageal cancer doesn’t mean right away that you are bound to have cancer of the esophagus.
For instance, some people who are diagnosed with esophageal cancer did not have any risk factor for the disease at all. Then there are also those who have many of the risk factors but do not have the disease.
Let us first tackle some risk factors for esophageal cancer that you cannot change:
Doctors say that people who are over 45 years of age are at higher risk of having esophageal cancer.
Did you know that males are 3 times more at risk of having the disease than women?
Among all the many different races, esophageal cancer risk is highest among African Americans.
Having acid reflux, GERD or Barret’s esophagus is regarded as a risk factor for the disease.
Since family members share the same diet and lifestyle, the disease may run in families.
Certainly, there is nothing much that you can do about the risk factors mentioned above. However, there are other risk factors for esophageal cancer that can be managed. Some of them include:
According to medical experts, your risk of having esophageal cancer one day considerably increases the more cigarette sticks that you smoke and the longer you have been embracing the habit. It’s not just cigarettes that are regarded as risk factors of esophageal cancer, but also other tobacco-containing products like cigars and pipes. Chewing tobacco is also regarded as a risk factor for esophageal cancer.
Too Much Alcohol
Numerous health problems can be linked to excessive alcohol intake, and one of them is esophageal cancer. It’s a good idea to keep your alcohol intake in moderation to lower your risk of having esophageal cancer and many other diseases that can be associated with alcoholism. Moderate amounts of it actually offer a number of health benefits.
Drinking Very Hot Beverages
If you love all sorts of beverages that are piping hot, consider limiting your intake of them. That’s because studies have shown that habitual consumption of very hot liquids can increase a person’s risk of having esophageal cancer. It’s because of the fact that liquids with high temperatures can irritate the lining of the esophagus.
Poor Eating Habits
Opting for foods that are loaded with fat and chemicals can increase your likelihood of having esophageal cancer. In order to steer clear of this deadly disease affecting the esophagus, it’s a good idea for you to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Opting for a healthy eating habit can also prevent other risk factors for esophageal cancer, like the one that will be discussed after this.
There are many types of cancer that can be linked to obesity, and the one that involves the esophagus is one of them. So if you have excess pounds around, get rid of them to lower your odds of having esophageal cancer. Besides, being obese is something that can cause disorders concerning the stomach and esophagus, some of which are regarded as risk factors for esophageal cancer.