Protect Yourself from Esophageal Cancer
The number of people diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus is rapidly increasing. While the exact cause of esophageal adnocarcinoma – the most common type of esphageal cancer – is unknown, the research suggests that the following measures may significantly reduce your risk:Turn your back on tobacco. Because smoking damages the DNA in the cells lining your esophagus, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer. Eat more fruits and vegetables. About 15% of esophageal cancers can be linked to a diet low in fruits and vegetables, according to the American Cancer Society. Eating these foods raw may offfer even more protection. Hold off an hot liquids. Drinking very hot liquids may damage esophageal cells, potentially leading to cancer according to some studies. Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese, especially around the abdomen, has been linked to esophageal cancer. Get a grip on GERD. If you have gastroesophageal disease (GERD), the constant exposure of your esophagus to stomach acids and bile can seriously damage your esophagus, possibly causing cancer. Having Barrett’s esophagus, a complication of GERD, further increases your risk of cancer. If you have Barrett’s esophagus or GERD, you would be wise to schedule an upper endoscopy on a routine basis to look for precancerous changes in the lining of your esophagus.For more information on managing GERD, you can order the Johns Hopkins special digital report on GERD at There is also an article regarding GERD on the Orcas Family Health Center Health Alerts Page.
John Hopkins Medicine Report August 2011

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