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Heartburn raises odds for esophageal and laryngeal cancer

A similar mechanism could contribute to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and laryngeal cancer, Abnett said.

Whether treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease reduces the risk of these cancers “remains an open question,” he said.

In the United States, he said, smoking and heavy drinking were the main causes of cancer studied here.

“Therefore, avoiding these exposures is the most important precaution,” said Abnett.

The findings are based on more than 490,600 US adults initially between the ages of 50 and 71. Almost a quarter was GERD.

In about 16 years, more than 900 participants were diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma and about 300 developed squamous cell carcinoma. Meanwhile, 876 people were diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.

On average, Avnet’s team found that people with GERD were about twice as likely to develop three cancers as people without GERD. It was after considering smoking, drinking habits, and weight.

Peter Campbell, director of science for epidemiological studies at the American Cancer Society, called the study “solid.”

There are no standard screening tests for cancer. But people with GERD may notice potential symptoms such as dysphagia, chest pain, hoarseness and voice changes, chronic coughing, and weight loss, Campbell said.

“It’s important to note that just because these signs and symptoms do not mean that one of these organ sites has cancer,” Campbell emphasized.

However, he said that anyone with GERD who noticed these symptoms should consult a doctor.

Similarly, Abnett said people with GERD symptoms should ask their doctor about lifestyle changes and useful medications.

Lifestyle tactics for managing gastroesophageal reflux disease include eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and losing excess weight.

It happened that Abnet pointed out that these same measures could help reduce the risk of many different types of cancer.


For more information

The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Source: Christian Abnet, PhD, MPH, Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Peter Campbell, Director of Science, Epidemiological Studies, American Cancer Society, Atlanta. cancer, February 22, 2021, online



Heartburn raises odds for esophageal and laryngeal cancer

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