herald

Monday 16 October 2017

Irish men face increased risk of gut cancer

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Irish men are third in the world when it comes to developing cancer of the oesophagus.

There are two main types of oesophageal cancer, or cancer of the gullet, and Ireland comes third in world rankings for developing the rarer form, adenocarcinoma.

Ireland follows the UK, which tops the league table, and the Netherlands, which ranks in second place.

Alcohol

The disease almost predominantly affects men - they are four times more likely to get the cancer than women.

Along with alcohol and cigarettes, consuming hot drinks increases the risk factor associated with this cancer. For adenocarcinoma, the strongest risk factor is acid reflux.

Acid reflux can be common in people who are overweight but it also thought to be rising because of falling rates of a special stomach bacteria that lowers acidity in the organ.

In a study carried out by the World Health Organisation's (WHO) specialist cancer agency, cases of adenocarcinoma have risen sharply in high-income countries.

The work was carried out on statistics in 2012, when oesophageal cancer was the eighth most common form of cancer in the world.

There were 52,000 new cases of adenocarcinoma diagnosed worldwide in 2012.

Highest

And Ireland had the third highest new-case-rate with almost seven in every 100,000 men developing the cancer.

The most common form of the two oesophageal cancers is SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) of which there were 398,000 new cases in 2012 - 80pc of these were found in South East Asia.

The research was published in online journal Gut.

jfegan@herald.ie

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