Esophageal Cancer – Page 8
Prevention methods for esophageal cancer
It is not always possible to prevent esophageal cancer. However, certain lifestyle changes can reduce a person’s risk of developing this disease. These include:
- Quitting smoking. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that damage the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that regulates cell growth. In addition, smoking is a leading cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes cell changes that can lead to esophageal cancer.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Chronic alcohol use over a period of years is a major factor in the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. Drinking in moderation or abstaining from drinking can lower this risk.
- Explore the cause of heartburn. Patients diagnosed with GERD should take medications prescribed by their physician to prevent chronic acid reflux, a factor in esophageal cancer. Patients should also avoid consuming food and drinks that can cause heartburn and gastric reflux.
- Eat a balanced diet. Adding fruits and vegetables to a diet may help protect against esophageal cancer. Deep green and dark yellow or orange produce is best. Vegetables from the cabbage family are also a good choice for those concerned about esophageal cancer. Diets low in selenium have been implicated in helping trigger esophageal cancer. Foods with selenium include walnuts, fish and whole grains.
- Maintain an optimal weight. People who are obese are at a greater risk for esophageal cancer and other diseases. Steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week is considered the safest way to lose weight and keep it off.