How to prevent esophageal cancer?The best way to prevent esophageal cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol. Smoke contains carcinogens that can damage the DNA that regulates cell growth. Nearly three-fourths of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and many adenocarcinomas result from heavy alcohol consumption over a period of years. Drinking in moderation or abstaining from
alcohol can greatly reduce your risk of this type of esophageal cancer.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and B-1, can help protect against esophageal cancer. Look for deep green and dark yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, such as Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, cantaloupe, mango, acorn or butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Also try to eat vegetables from the cabbage family, including broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Lycopene, a nutrient found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and red bell peppers, may be a particularly powerful anticancer chemical. Because diets low in selenium have been linked to esophageal cancer, try to include foods rich in this mineral, such as milk, broccoli, cabbage, fish and whole grains. Healthy adults should ingest at least 55 micrograms (mcg) of selenium every day. A slice of whole-wheat bread contains 10 mcgs.
People who have Barrett's esophagus need aggressive treatment of their GERD to prevent esophageal cancer. People with Barrett's esophagus may have regular endoscopies, which use a lighted tube to examine the esophagus. Biopsies, which involve removing a small piece of tissue, are sometimes needed. These screenings may detect an esophageal cancer early, when it is most treatable.
Being significantly overweight (obese) increases your risk of esophageal cancer as well as your risk of other serious health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Slow and steady weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week is considered the safest way to lose weight and keep it off. In many cases, you can lose weight by committing to eating a healthier diet, exercising and changing unhealthy behaviors. Other treatments for obesity include prescription medications and surgery.