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Why is the impact of Esophageal Cancer important to people in alberta?

Esophageal cancer is the 19th most common cancer in Alberta.1
About 195 adults were diagnosed in 2015.2

  • Esophageal cancer is much more common in men than in women. In fact, more than 7 out of 10 people who develop esophageal cancer are men.1
  • The risk of getting esophageal cancer begins to rise at about age 35 and peaks between ages 80 and 85.1

What can I do?

Experts in Alberta agree that we can prevent about 69 out of 100 cases of esophageal cancer.2 Here’s how:

Tobacco smoking is linked to about 42% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.6 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 vegetables and fruits is linked to about 19% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.7

Canada's Food Guide recommends eating plenty of vegetables and fruits every day.8

Excess weight is linked to about 15% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (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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Not being active enough is linked to about 9% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.10 To achieve health benefits, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Eating a lot of processed meats is linked to about 3% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.11

Drinking alcohol is linked to about 5% of new esophageal cancer cases in Alberta.12 When it comes to preventing cancer, there is no safe amount of alcohol. For people who choose to drink alcohol, Canada's Low Risk-drinking Guidelines recommend that men have no more than 3 drinks a day and women no more than 2 drinks a day.5

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

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