Men's oesophageal cancer risk 3 times that of women

19 June 2013

Men's risk of oesophageal cancer is triple that of women, according to a new report from Cancer Research UK.

Cancer diagnosis rates for men are around 15 in 100,000 compared to five in 100,000 for women.

Researchers say the difference seems to be caused by one particular type of oesophageal cancer – adenocarcinoma – which is linked to obesity, as well as long-term acid heartburn or indigestion.

Oesophageal cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the UK. Figures show more than 5,600 men in the UK develop oesophageal cancer every year compared to 2,800 women.

Tim Underwood, an oesophageal surgeon and researcher at the University of Southampton, says the figures for male cancer diagnosis are worrying.

The two major signs to look for are food getting stuck when eating and ongoing acid reflux or heartburn.

"Diagnosing the disease earlier is key to improving the chances of survival. Food getting stuck when you swallow and persistent heart burn are not normal. If this is happening to you, you need to see your GP," says Mr Underwood.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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