Esophageal Cancer Month: Preventing Esophageal Cancer
This April, learn how to keep your esophagus as healthy as possible. April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. Esophageal cancer is cancer of the esophagus, which is the tube that carries food, liquid, and saliva from the mouth to the stomach.
There are two types of the condition:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: develops in the flat cells that line the esophagus
Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: arises in gland cells in the lower part of the esophagus near the entrance to the stomach. In the United States, esophageal adenocarcinoma is more common than squamous cell carcinoma.
Many people can not prevent Esophageal cancer, but there are some ways to make your chances lower.
Alcohol and Tobacco:
The most important thing to avoid to help prevent esophageal cancer is the use of tobacco and alcohol. Each of these factors increase the risk of esophageal cancer and the risk is greater when combined.
If you are diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which acidic stomach contents rise into the esophagus at least twice a week, you may have a slightly higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Certain risk factors for esophageal cancer are beyond your control, such as your gender. Men have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, with over three times the incidence rate compared to women.
If you have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, the best thing to do is speak with your doctor about how to improve your health, especially the health of your esophagus.