While esophageal cancer risk factors can’t be used to definitively predict whether a person will or will not develop the condition, they can help medical professionals provide appropriate preventive care recommendations to patients. People who have one or more risk factors may have an increased likelihood of developing the condition, and therefore may need to schedule more frequent screenings and routine visits with an oncologist. At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, we can help patients from St. Petersburg and other nearby locations assess their own personal risk profiles, then create individualized action plans accordingly.
Most esophageal cancer risk factors are medical diagnoses that can lead to inflammation, scarring and cell damage in the digestive tract. These include:
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)
- Plummer-Vinson syndrome
Occupational and environmental carcinogen exposure can also increase a person’s likelihood of developing esophageal cancer. Silica, asbestos, acetaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have all been correlated with an increased risk of the condition.
To a slightly lesser degree, lifestyle factors may also play a role in the development of esophageal cancer. Men and women who use tobacco or opium; drink carbonated soft drinks, hot beverages or maté tea; or have nutritional deficiencies caused by dietary imbalances may also have an elevated risk of developing esophageal malignancies.
Because risk factors are not definitive predictors of who will or will not develop esophageal cancer, it’s important to discuss them with an experienced oncologist to determine what they can mean. People who live in St. Petersburg can make a short drive to Moffitt to consult with an experienced oncologist regarding their own personal risk factors and screening options.
Residents of St. Petersburg, FL, who wish to discuss their esophageal cancer risk factors with a Moffitt oncologist can schedule an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or submitting a new patient registration form online. Appointments are scheduled with or without physicians’ referrals.