Many years ago the risk factors for esophageal cancer were cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake. But a study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in May 2012 found that inflammation of the tissue lining in the esophagus caused by chronic heartburn may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.Heartburn is usually a symptom of acid reflux disease, but if it is persistent, it may be associated with Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.
Most of the esophageal cancer are adenocarcinoma, which develops in the glands at the bottom of the esophagus.
The exact cause of malignancy in the esophagus is not yet determined, but studies have shown that there is a progressive increase in risk for adenocarcinoma as the gastroesophageal reflux worsens.
Starting with a chronic backwash of stomach acid up into the esophagus when you’re lying down or slumped in a chair, the mucous membranes of the esophagus become inflamed. This leads to changes in the tissues, called metaplasia. The condition of having metaplastic changes in the esophagus is called Barrett’s esophagus, a severe form of GERD. If the changes continue, metaplasia becomes dysplasia, which is basically pre-cancer leading to high-grade dysplasia, where cancerous cells are now present. The last step is adenocarcinoma.
The first symptom of a cancer is dysphagia, difficulty swallowing. At first swallowing solid foods becomes painful with a feeling of something stuck. Later even liquids are hard to get down.Another symptom is weight loss, along with a dull pain felt in the pit of the stomach or the lower chest. A hoarse voice, a chronic cough or bone pain can indicate the spread of the malignancy.
Today adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is increasing, about 6 times more common than 3 decades ago. Most esophageal cancers develop after age 60. About 3 to 6 people in 100,000 develop adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, but the percentages are increased in patients with GERD and significantly increased in those with Barrett’s esophagus. The risk of adenocarcinoma with Barrett’s esophagus is about 10 in 100. Men are much more likely to develop this malignancy than women and the risk increases with age.
1.At first you should stop smoking.
2.Then with a healthy diet and daily exercise you should keep your weight down.
3.Eat a diet with lots of raw yellow and green vegetables and fruits, but avoid anything that causes heartburn, such as citrus, onions, chocolate, tomatoes and spicy or fried foods.
4.Keep your alcohol intake moderate.
5.Tea is known to be preventive, but drinking liquids that are excessively hot are harmful.