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Why is the impact of Esophageal Cancer important to Albertans?

Esophageal cancer is the 18th most common cancer in Alberta.1
About 185 adults were diagnosed in 2012.2

  • Esophageal cancer is much more common in men than in women. In fact, more than 8 out of 10 people who develop esophageal cancer are men.
  • The risk of getting esophageal cancer begins to rise about age 40 and peaks between ages 60 and 69.1

What can I do?

Experts in Alberta agree that we can prevent about 80 out of 100 cases of esophageal cancer.2 Here’s how:

Tobacco smoking is linked to about 46% of new cases. Tobacco has cancer-causing toxins (called carcinogens) that damage cells in the esophagus. Over time, the damaged cells can turn into cancer. You can lower your risk for esophageal cancer when you quit using tobacco or cut down.

Not eating enough fruits and vegetables is linked to about 40% of new cancer cases.

The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR)3 recommend eating at least 5 servings (400 g) of non-starchy vegetables and fruit every day to help prevent cancer.

Being overweight is linked to about 30% of new cases. The WCRF/AICR recommend adults stay at a healthy body weight4 and keep their body mass index (BMI) in the normal range. Use our BMI Tool to find the healthy weight range for you.

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Drinking alcohol is linked to about 11% of new cases. When it comes to preventing cancer, there is no safe amount of alcohol. For people who choose to drink alcohol, the WCRF/AICR recommend5 that men have no more than 2 drinks a day and women no more than 1 drink a day.

More information on esophageal cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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