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Esophageal Cancer

Causes of Esophageal Cancer

Research continues to study what causes esophageal cancer. Science is getting close to better understanding cancer, and doctors know some of the risk factors that may cause cancer to develop. These risk factors increase a patient’s likelihood of developing cancer, but it is not definite. In the same way, patients without risk factors may still develop esophageal cancer. 
Doctors suspect that one of the biggest risk factors for esophageal cancer is chronic acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The most common type of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma, occurs in the lower part of the esophagus. This is the area in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing damage to the tissue over time.
This damage is called Barrett’s esophagus. If the damaged or changed cells are not treated, it can cause esophageal cancer.
These are some of the other suspected risk factors, often factors that also intensify acid reflux symptoms:
  • Using tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Older age
  • Being male
  • African-American heritage
If you experience chronic heartburn, it’s important to seek medical attention to reduce your risk of developing esophageal cancer. Speak to a doctor at Florida Hospital for more information

Locations for Esophageal Cancer