Some people are more likely to develop esophageal cancer than others, especially those with the following risk factors:
Researchers continue to study these and other possible risk factors, such as smokeless tobacco. Having a risk factor doesn't mean that a person will develop cancer of the esophagus. In fact, most people with risk factors never develop esophageal cancer.
While you cannot change your sex or age, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate other risk factors:
This condition typically occurs in people who suffer chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Over time, the tissue lining of the esophagus is replaced by tissue similar to intestinal lining. Determining which people with the condition are most likely to develop cancer — and should seek treatment — isn’t always clear. Anyone with Barrett’s esophagus should have a periodic upper GI endoscopy with a biopsy. A pathologist will examine the tissue sample to assess how abnormal the cells look, a condition known as dysplasia. The abnormal cells may be called high-grade (more likely to cause cancer) or low-grade (less likely to cause cancer. Having Barrett’s esophagus with high-grade dysplasia is a pre-cancerous condition and most people should be treated in a timely manner.