Esophageal cancer risk factors are specific traits – either inherited or acquired – that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. Most of these risk factors are pre-existing medical diagnoses, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), although others, such as tobacco use and carcinogen exposure, are lifestyle factors.
At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, our experienced oncologists can help patients evaluate their own risk profiles, then determine what the results mean for their own personal needs. The most common risk factors for esophageal cancer include:
- Having a diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus, human papilloma virus (HPV), achalasia, tylosis or Plummer-Vinson syndrome
- Sustaining one or more traumatic injuries to the esophagus
- Repeated exposure to chemical carcinogens, such as acetaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or environmental carcinogens, such as silica and asbestos
- Routinely consuming tobacco products, opium, maté, carbonated soft drinks and hot beverages
- Having a nutritional deficiency caused by vitamin or mineral imbalances and/or a low intake of fruits and vegetables
- Long-term use of specific medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and h2 receptor antagonists
The presence of one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop an esophageal tumor, the same way that the absence of risk factors does not necessarily prevent an individual from developing the condition. However, these risk factors are good indicators of who should be particularly mindful of any unusual symptoms that might occur. Moffitt’s team of Tampa oncologists can perform any necessary diagnostic tests as soon as a patient reports abnormal health changes, which can help increase the likelihood of early detection in the unlikely event that esophageal cancer is present.
No referral is required to meet with an expert at Moffitt. To request an appointment with one of our experienced Tampa, FL, oncologists to discuss your esophageal cancer risk factors, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.