Esophageal cancer is one such type of GI cancer. As per WHO, Globocan 2018 data, it is the sixth most common cancer in India, with an incidence rate of 5.04%. It is also the reason for the sixth-most cancer-related deaths in India. It is the 5th most prevalent cancer in Indian males and the 6th most common cancer in females. Often, Indian males are more affected by the disease than women.
The numbers tell us that it is essential to raise awareness in the country when the main factors for causing the disease include tobacco and alcohol consumption – which are both rampant in India.
What are the Most Common Causes of Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal cancer occurs when the cells in the esophagus mutate and grow unnaturally. Often doctors attribute chronic irritation to result in changes that increase the chances of cancer of the esophagus. A few factors that cause chronic irritation in the organ are listed below:
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Our stomach contains acids to digest the food that we consume. When people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, they must seek treatment for GERD immediately. The acids can escape into the esophagus and cause heartburn or acid reflux in the mouth. It also affects the esophagus lining and causes Barrette’s Esophagus, which increases the risk of developing adenocarcinoma.
If your surgical gastroenterologist has diagnosed you with Barrette’s Esophagus, it affects the squamous cells of the esophagus to change their structure to become more resistant to stomach acids. The condition can increase your chances of getting adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.
2. Consumption of Tobacco in any form
Whether you consume tobacco in any form, including smoking cigarettes, smoking hookah, or chewing betel nut mixed with tobacco, you have five times the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
If you are currently smoking or consuming tobacco, talk to your trusted doctor and learn to quit your habit. From nicotine patches, physical relaxation techniques, and avoiding tobacco triggers, your doctor will guide you in the right way.
3. Consumption of Alcohol
People who regularly consume alcohol have a higher risk of developing esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Whether your intake is one glass of alcohol daily or every couple of days, you can benefit by letting go of your habit. Also, when you combine alcohol with smoking, it increases the risk of esophageal cancer phenomenally.
An obese patient with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 has shown a higher risk of esophageal cancer. One reason obesity is closely associated with esophageal cancer is obese and overweight individuals often suffer from GERD, which increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus.
If you want to lead a healthy and cancer-free life, focus on maintaining healthy body weight. Include physical activity, exercise, and meditation in your lifestyle to reduce stress and improve health. dewormer for cancer