Esophageal cancer can be said to be a Chinese cancer, because nearly half of the world’s esophageal cancer patients are in China. This is probably related to China’s eating habits. They prefer to eat hot food. If the food is cold, it is not good to eat.
The International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) affiliated to the World Health Organization (WHO) has long released a report that hot drinks above 65℃ are listed as 2A carcinogens (likely to cause cancer), which may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
However, 69% of esophageal cancer can be avoided as long as the risk factors are known and prevented.
- Egg white or whole egg – which is healthier?
- Hot weather: What should you eat and drink?
- 5 methods to help you eliminate spicy feeling (confirmed by science)
Habit can lead to esophageal cancer
In life, besides eating hot food, there are 5 habits that can lead to esophageal cancer:
Smoking and drinking often
Heavy drinking will stimulate the esophagus to cause mucosal damage, cause esophageal mucosal hyperplasia, and increase the probability of esophageal cancer.
However, people who smoke for a long time are more than 5 times more likely to suffer from esophageal cancer.
If you smoke and drink too much, the combined effect of the two is far more than the sum of their separate effects.
Eat pickled food
In 2017, the list of carcinogens published by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research was initially collated for reference. Nitrate or nitrite ingested under conditions leading to endogenous nitrosation was included in the list of Category 2A carcinogens.
That is, like hot drinks at 65℃, it is also a probable carcinogen.
Nitrate and nitrite will be produced in the pickling process of salted fish, pickled vegetables and processed meat products, which will increase nitrosamine compounds in the body. This is also a major dietary incentive in areas with a high incidence of esophageal cancer.
Related gastroesophageal diseases
Chronic damage to esophageal mucosa caused by long-term gastroesophageal reflux and Barrett’s esophagus will increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
Eat moldy food
Studies have found that moldy food can induce precancerous lesions or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus and stomach in mice.
This kind of mold has a synergistic effect with nitrosamine to promote cancer.
Family history of esophageal cancer
Some people in the family have suffered from esophageal cancer and have obvious familial aggregation, which will also increase the risk of esophageal cancer for future generations.
However, in general, hereditary esophageal cancer accounts for only 5%-10% of all causes.
Beware of Esophageal Cancer Symptoms
It is not easy to find esophageal cancer early because early esophageal cancer has almost no symptoms, and some patients may feel chest pain, substernal discomfort, burning, etc. However, these symptoms are not typical and are similar to those of many diseases, so it is difficult to judge.
Esophageal cancer has developed to the middle and late stage, with a particularly typical symptom-progressive dysphagia, that is to say, eating may not be able to swallow, especially solid food.
However, the treatment effect of early esophageal cancer is different from that of middle and advanced esophageal cancer. After active treatment of early esophageal cancer, the 5-year survival rate can reach more than 95%, while after treatment of middle and advanced esophageal cancer, the 5-year survival rate is less than 20%, with poor prognosis.
Therefore, early detection and treatment are still needed. Generally speaking, through gastroscopy, whether there is esophageal cancer can be diagnosed.
Of course, it is better to prevent it before it happens. It is suggested that the high-risk factors mentioned above should be avoided, and the high-risk groups can be screened.
In addition, attention should be paid to dietary balance, food diversity, and the choice of food with antioxidant and cancer prevention, such as fresh yellow-green vegetables and fruits.