Risk Factors

Esophagus Cancer

The following is a list of risk factors for esophageal cancer:

  • Long history of tobacco and alcohol usage
  • Occupation: food servers, bartenders, metal workers, construction workers
  • Esophageal injuries (accidental ingestion of lye, thermal injury from hot beverages and foods)
  • Family history of cancer
  • Esophageal web: congenital soft web like structure of lower portion of esophagus causing dysphagia
  • Highly seasoned foods
  • Barrett esophagus: extension of glandular stomach epithelium more than 3 cm into esophagus
  • Esophageal achalasia
  • Hiatal hernia with associated achalasia
  • Plummer-Vision syndrome (sideropenic dysphagia): dysphagia, glossitis, hypochromic anemia , splenomegaly, atrophy of mouth, pharynx, and upper esophagus

Stomach Cancer

Risk factors for stomach cancer include the following:

  • Age: average onset is 55 years
  • Race: stomach cancer is more prevalent in blacks than whites
  • Food preservatives: benzopyrenes, nitrites, nitrates and nitrosamines
  • Achlorhydria-gastric polyposis syndrome: lack of hydrochloric acid in gastric secretions associated with gastric polyps
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Duodenal ulcer: may have some increased risk (benign gastric ulcers have a low tendency to become malignant)
  • Previous resection of stomach due to other causes

Small Intestine Cancer

Risk factors for small intestine cancer do not seem to be a direct cause, but seem to be associated in some way, to the disease. Having a risk factor for small intestine cancer makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to the disease.

Adenocarcinoma of the small intestine is associated with the following underlying conditions:

Risk factors for developing cancer of the small intestine in Crohn disease patients include the following:

  • Males
  • Long duration of disease
  • Associated fistulous disease
  • Surgical removal of part of the bowel

Lymphoma of the small intestine is associated with celiac disease but also is strongly associated with weakened immune systems such as occurs with AIDS.