Causes of Oesophageal (Gullet) Cancer?

The esophagus, also known as food pipe, is that part of the body’s digestive system that links the stomach to the mouth. It is about 23 cm and runs down from the pharynx to the stomach.

Oesophageal cancer is the malignancy of the musculomembranenous canal. Oesophagus has muscles, which push food down into the stomach.

The exact causes of oesophageal cancer are not known but there are a number of risk factors that are associated with the occurrence of oesophageal cancer:

Smoking and Alcoho:These Two have been thought to be the main risk factors (cause) in the occurrence and development of oesophageal cancer. Tobacco contains nitrosamines and other alkaline chemicals that increase the risk of contracting the disease. Smoking tobacco especially increases the risk of contracting oesophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Drinking a lot of alcohol increases the risk of contracting squamous cell. Carcinoma: The risk becomes even greater if one drinks and smokes. Chewing tobacco also increases the risk.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: This disease occurs when stomach acid comes up into the oesophagus, irritating the oesophagus lining, leading to Barrett’s oesophagus, which makes it very easy for oesophageal cancer to start developing. Adenocarcinoma is the most likely type of cancer to develop.

Keratosis (Tylosis): This is the thickening of the horny layer of the skin, especially on the palms and sole. This increases the risk of developing squamous cell oesophageal cancer.
Cardiac achalasia.:This is the condition where the cardiac sphincter does not relax, thereby allowing some food back into the oesophagus, greatly increasing the risk of contracting adenocarcinoma type of cancer.

Plummer-vinson syndrome: This is a combination of severe glossitis with dysphagia and nutritional iron deficiency anaemia. Having this condition leads to small and thin growth of tissue, blocking part of the oesophagus and thus making swallowing hard. This increases the risk of contracting oesophageal cancer.
Diet: Lack of a well balanced diet increases the risk of contracting oesophageal cancer. Vitamins E, C and A are powerful antioxidants and have anti cancer properties. Lack of a well balanced diet, which excludes these vitamins, vital minerals, and foliate greatly increases the risk of developing oesophageal cancer.

Obesity:This is the deposition of excessive fat around the body, especially in the sub- cutaneous tissue. This increases chances of having acid reflux, increasing the risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the oesophageal.

(h) Other risk factors thought to increase the risk of developing oesophageal cancer are drinking of very hot drinks and often eating of red meat. Here you can also see what is oesophageal (gullet) cancer.

Filed Under: Esophageal Gullet Cancer

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