Easy Ways To Prevent Cancer Of The Esophagus

Cancer of the esophagus is an uncommon case compared to other cancers. However, it is just as fatal especially if left untreated for a long period of time.

There are two types of cancer of the esophagus: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma arise in the squamous cells, located in the upper and middle part of the esophagus, while adenocarcinoma develops in the glandular tissue located in the lower part of the esophagus.

Cancer of the esophagus can also spread to other parts of your body such as the brain, bones, lung and liver.

However, the first affected parts are usually the lymph nodes.

Although the exact causes of cancer of the esophagus are unknown, studies have shown that certain risk factors put people at a higher risk to the disease such as:

  1. Sex – it is more common to men than women
  2. Tobacco use – one of the major risk factors
  3. Alcohol use – another major risk factor when consumed in excessive amounts, especially when used simultaneously with tobacco
  4. Medical history – those who have suffered from head and neck cancers are more prone to developing cancer in these areas, where the esophagus is located

However, there are still many easy ways you can adjust your lifestyle in order to prevent cancer of the esophagus. Here’s how:

  • Quitting smoking is the first and most important change you should do to prevent cancer. It puts you at major risk for cancer of the esophagus, as well as many other fatal cancers.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption, because excessive drinking, as mentioned, is also another major risk factor for cancer. It’s also bad for your overall health.
  • Healthy eating habits increase the strength of your immune system and reduce your risk for cancer of the esophagus and many other dreaded diseases. Always make sure that you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and leafy vegetables in your daily diet. Fruits that are darker in color, such as berries, are also known for their effectiveness in cancer prevention due to their rich antioxidant content.
  • Keep your weight at a healthy number – this will reduce your risk for cancer and other diseases too. If you develop cancer of the esophagus while you are overweight, this increases your chances of dying from it up to as much as 50%.
  • If you experience chronic heartburn, don’t ignore this and see a doctor immediately. Chronic heartburn increases your risk for esophageal cancer, and when treated properly this can be addressed and will minimize your risk for developing cancer.
  • If you suffer from gastrointestinal acid reflux, wherein acid continuously backs up from the stomach and passes through the esophagus, this wears the lining thin. This condition is known as Barrett’s esophagus, and it has been shown to increase the risk of cancer of the esophagus. Limiting your acidic food intake and seeing a doctor immediately about this problem will greatly reduce your risk for cancer of the esophagus.

Making these small changes in your lifestyle will go a long way in preventing cancer of the esophagus, so it’s best to start now before it’s too late.