Esophageal cancer and obesityDuring the last year, in the United States alone, more than 15,000 patients were diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. The experts believe that no more than 1,000 of that number will survive after receiving the treatment. Esophagus is an organ that connects the throat to the stomach and its main function is to get the food and liquids to the stomach. Esophageal cancer has many types but two are seen more often than any other. These two types are called squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the squamous cell and can be located anywhere along the esophagus. However, the cancer usually occurs in the upper and middle part of the organ. Certain risk factor increase the chance of developing this type of esophageal cancer but tobacco use and alcohol consumption are two that are most influential. On the other hand, adenocarcinoma is mainly discovered in the lower part of the esophagus, close to the stomach. Suffering from a certain condition called Barrett syndrome drastically increases the chance of developing adenocarcinoma. Apart from this one, obesity is considered to increase the risk as well.
Until the year 1996 squamous cell carcinoma was seen in three patients out of four diagnosed with esophageal cancer. However, since that year adenocarcinoma took over and became a more common type of cancer of the esophagus. The body mass index factor was first looked at in the state of Michigan from 1988 to 2006. The BMI used to be 25 but it rose to 28 among the whites. On the other hand, it rose from 27 to 30 among African Americans. Normal and healthy BMI is that one between 18.5 and 14.9. A person whose BMI is higher than 25 is considered to be overweight while those, whose BMI is over 30, are considered to be obese.A lot of experts claim that by not becoming obese a person will seriously decrease the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, especially adenocarcinoma. According to the data, if these trends that are seen nowadays continue, this type of cancer will probably become the most often seen type of cancer with the highest mortality rate not so many years from now.
Preventing cancer by preventing obesityA person whose proportion of body fat is way too high to be considered normal and unhealthy is thought to be obese. In order to be precisely determines whether someone is obese, the doctors use a BMI formula that calculates the person’s weight and height. This kind of calculating obesity is more precise as not only the weight of the patient is looked at. According to the guidelines of the NIH, those adults older than 20 years of age whose BMI is fewer than 18.5, are considered to be underweight. Those with the BMI over 30 are considered to be obese. Obesity is a risk factor for a lot of diseases, not just cancer of the esophagus. A person with a BMI over 30 is more prone to developing diabetes, high blood pressure, various cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other types of cancer apart from cancer of the esophagus. In addition to all these health problems, those who are obese do not live as long as those who are of normal weight.
Obesity is one of the most often seen health problems nowadays. The data claims that more than 60% of the population in the United States is either obese or overweight. According to that information, an increase of 8% was recorder over a period of ten years. Every third adult in the United States has the body mass index higher than 30. Almost 60 million adults are obese. Children and teenagers were not that obese in the past but their numbers are increasing as well. Over the same period there was an increase of 15% in obesity among children. Nowadays, it is believed that there are more than 9 million children aged between 6 and 19 years of age who are obese.Sedentary lifestyle and improper diet are two of the main reasons of obesity. By not getting obese or overweight the risk of developing esophageal cancer is significantly decreased. A person can prevent this from happening by establishing healthy eating and physical activity habits while he or she is still young.