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Esophageal Cancer: What You Need to Know

Millions of people are affected from esophageal cancer (or oesophageal cancer)
and tens of thousands of people are dying from it worldwide.

Are there any clues that can guide us to avoid contracting esophageal cancer?

## 3 Important Facts about Esophageal Cancer

1. The esophagus is close to various organs, especially to the nearby lymph
nodes, thus surgical operation may prove difficult.

2. Esophageal cancer is difficult or cannot be detected through general physical
checkup, CT scan, or X-ray. A special form of diagnostic test is required
particularly for this purpose.

3. Unfortunately, subjective symptoms are usually noticeable only after the
esophageal cancer had spread around to adjacent tissues, which happens rather

Alcoholic drinks and cigarette smoking can indeed increase your risk of cancer
or accelerate the worsening of the disease than any other known vices.

## Why alcohol may increase your risk of esophageal cancer?

Recently, medical report shows that alcohol produces large quantities of
carcinogenic acetaldehyde, which accelerates the growth of cancer cells. If your
face easily gets redness after drinking alcohol, then you are at a greater risk
of developing esophageal cancer. This facial redness known as "alcohol flush
reaction" is one of the best indications that you are in danger.

## Why do this happen? Here's why...

1. About 8% of the world's population has this condition, which is genetic,
where the body lacks an enzyme that breaks down the alcohol properly.

2. The missing enzyme is aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2), which metabolizes
alcohol into a non-toxic substance—acetate.

3. The remaining 92% of the population can drink with normal facial color
because they have this enzyme.

4. For people who do not have this enzyme, the alcohol will turn into
acetaldehyde instead, which is a chemical that has cancer-promoting effects, and
causes DNA damage and facial redness.

5. According to a study, people who have facial flush and continue to drink, are
6 to 10 times more susceptible to esophageal cancer than those who do not have
this genetic condition and drinking the same amount.

## And here's what you should do...

We recommend you to undergo special esophageal cancer checkup at least once a
year or every two years. Esophageal cancer can be treated effectively and easily
when detected early on.

Also, we recommend you not to drink and not to smoke to avoid worsening of
cancer diseases. Again, facial redness due to alcohol consumption is a warning
sign and could mean increased cancer risk.

## Esophageal Cancer Statistics

1. Esophageal cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

2. People of African descent have a higher incidence of esophageal cancer and
mortality rate than Caucasians.

3. Esophageal cancer in general, is more common in men than in women, with a
male-to-female ratio of 3.5:1.

4. Esophageal cancer is about 20 times more common in people older than 65

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