The report released today by American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) reaffirms and strengthens the findings of a previous AICR/WCRF report.
The report collated and reviewed the 46 scientific studies available on esophageal cancer, diet, physical activity and weight in the first such review since 2007. The research covered 15 million adults of whom 31,000 were diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
What they found?
- There is strong evidence that excess body fat increases risk for the esophageal type adenocarcinoma. There is 48 percent increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma for every 5 unit increase in Body Mass Index (BMI).
- There is a clear link between alcohol consumption and esophageal type squamous cell carcinoma. One in three (33 percent) of esophageal cancer cases could be prevented if people did not drink alcohol and were a healthy weight. That’s approximately 5,600 esophageal cancer cases every year.
Previous AICR research has found that – in addition to esophageal adenocarcinoma – excess body fat increases risk for advanced prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, post–menopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cardia cancer and pancreatic cancer.
The report also found strong evidence that consuming alcohol increases the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma – 25 percent increased risk per 10 grams of alcohol per day. This is equivalent to about a glass of beer or wine.
Making smart choices like limiting alcoholic drinks, eating more vegetables, beans and other plant foods, and boosting your activity (increased walking) can help prevent esophageal and many other cancers.