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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda

In the last three decades, the incidence of esophageal cancer in the US has increased sixfold–an increase greater than that of melanoma, breast, or prostate cancer.

What may contribute to esophageal cancer?

This is likely because acid reflux is on the rise, and acid reflux can lead to inflammation, then esophagitis, then Barrett’s esophagus, and then, possibly, cancer. Numerous studies have been published on the association between Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, and diet. They found that meat and high-fat meals may increase cancer risk. Specific foods that have been shown to be associated with esophageal cancer include cured meats—like bologna, bacon, ham, and hot dogs—and eggs, because of frequent dioxin contamination. High intake of folic acid from supplements may also be associated with a significantly elevated risk of Barrett’s esophagus with precancerous changes.

What may be protective against esophageal cancer?

A higher intake of fiber may have highly protective effects against esophageal cancer. Individuals with the highest fiber intakes appear to have an approximately 30% lower risk of cancer. Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of strawberries in reversing the progression of esophageal cancer in the majority of patients.

All Videos for Esophageal Cancer

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