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Smoking, Drinking Combo Raises Odds for Esophageal Cancer

Smoking, Drinking Combo Raises Odds for Esophageal Cancer

04/25/14

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who smoke and drink are nearly twice as likely to develop esophageal cancer as those with only one of those unhealthy habits, a new study indicates.

Previous research has shown that smoking and drinking are risk factors for esophageal cancer, but this is the first study to show the risk associated with smoking and drinking combined, the investigators said.

The finding, which was based on an analysis of numerous databases, is published in the April 22 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

"Our study suggests that not only do alcohol and tobacco play an important role in the development of esophageal cancer, the combination of their use markedly increases their potency as carcinogens," study author Dr. Anoop Prabhu, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said in a journal news release.

"As a result, we as physicians should focus efforts directed at controlling the burden of esophageal cancer on those who consume both of these substances," Prabhu added.

This year, about 18,000 Americans will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer and more than 15,000 will die from the disease, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about esophageal cancer.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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