Risk FactorsMen and older adults are typically at greater risk of esophageal cancer. The disease is around four-times more common among men than women, with men accounting for 82% of cases in New Mexico between 2009 and 2013. Disease rates also increase with age, with people aged 65 and over accounting for 62% of cases, and people between 45 and 64 years of age accounting for nearly all remaining cases.
Esophageal cancer incidence is lower among Hispanics and American Indians than among Whites. Compared to Whites, esophageal cancer rates were approximately 57% lower among American Indians and 38% lower among Hispanics from 2009 to 2013 in New Mexico.
Chronic irritation of the esophagus is thought to raise the risk of esophageal cancer. Common factors that can irritate your esophagus and increase the risk of esophageal cancer include:
? Tobacco use
? Alcohol consumption
? Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
? Precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus)
? Eating few fruits and vegetables
? Drinking very hot liquids
? Achalasia, a condition where the muscle in the lower esophagus does not relax, causing food to collect in the esophagus
? Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen