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Esophagus Cancer

Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus-the long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. It can occur anywhere along the esophagus, but in the U.S., it occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus.
About 82 new cases of esophageal cancer were diagnosed in New Mexico year 2013. Esophageal cancer accounts for roughly 1% of all cancers newly diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and about 2%-3% of all annual cancer deaths.
82 new cases of esophagus cancer were diagnosed in New Mexico during 2013, of which roughly 84% of cases occured in males and 65% among persons aged 65 years and older. The remaining 35% of cases occur primarily in persons aged 45-64 years. Incidence rates in men are roughly four times higher than those in women.
It's thought that chronic irritation of the esophagus may contribute to the DNA changes that cause esophageal cancer. Factors that cause irritation in the cells of your esophagus and increase the risk of esophageal cancer include:
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having bile reflux
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Smoking
  • Having difficulty swallowing because of an esophageal sphincter that won't relax (achalasia)
  • Drinking very hot liquids
  • Eating few fruits and vegetables
  • Eating foods preserved in lye, such as lutefisk, a Nordic recipe made from whitefish, and some olive recipes
  • Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Being obese
  • Having precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus)
  • Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen
You can learn about known and probable carcinogens from Known and Probable Human Carcinogens at www.cancer.org (external site).
There are no known methods to completely eliminate esophageal cancer risk, but people can take steps to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. For example:
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco. If you don't use tobacco, don't start. If you do smoke or use tobacco, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting. Medications and counseling are available to help you quit. You can also call the 1-800-QUIT NOW (1 800-784-8669) hotline to access cessation services available to New Mexicans. Services include sessions in English or Spanish, programs for adults and youth, free cessation items and a personal quit plan.
  • Do not drink alcohol or drink in moderation, if at all. If you are a heavy drinker, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your consumption of alcohol or how to quit drinking alcohol.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Add a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about strategies to help you lose weight. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week.
The NM EPHT Web site is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5 U38EH000949 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 26 July 2017 22:42:15 from New Mexico EPHT Tracking Public Web site: https://nmtracking.org/ ".

Content updated: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 08:37:23 MST