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Cancer Epidemiol. 2016 Apr;41:88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2016.01.013. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

The epidemic of oesophageal carcinoma: Where are we now?

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Department of Medicine and Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:


Since the early 1970s, the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased dramatically in most Western populations. In contrast, the incidence of oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma has decreased in these same populations. Epidemiological studies conducted over the past decade have provided great insights into the etiology of oesophageal cancer. These studies have identified gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, obesity and cigarette smoking as risk factors for oesophageal adenocarcinoma, while use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and infection with Helicobacter pylori are associated with reduced risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma. For oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma, alcohol and cigarette smoking are the two major risk factors underlying most cases. This review combines a synthesis of these studies with an analysis of data from the United States National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program to discuss the change in incidence of oesophageal cancer and summarize current knowledge of risk factors.


Barrett’s oesophagus; Epidemiology; Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; Obesity; Oesophageal cancer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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