Frequent Eating and Drinking Hot Causes Esophageal Cancer?
When entering the rainy season, a soupy dish with smoke still billowing is very tempting. However, behind the pleasure, you also need to know the dangers that lurk behind eating hot food and drinks, one of which is the risk of esophageal cancer or esophageal cancer.
What is Esophageal Cancer?
The esophagus is a long, hollow tube that connects the back of the esophagus to the stomach. This tube-shaped muscle helps funnel food from the esophagus to the stomach so your food can be digested. This structure is located just behind the trachea and in front of the spine.
Everything you eat and drink enters the esophagus so it can be processed by the digestive system and absorbed by the body.
Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the innermost lining of the esophagus or mucosa. Once the cancer cells are formed, they begin to grow out through the two layers of the esophagus.
carcinoma cell squamous and adenocarcinoma are cancerous cells and masses that are commonly diagnosed in the esophagus.
carcinoma cell squamous begins in the squamous cells of the esophagus, while adenocarcinoma begins in the glandular cells of the esophagus. Both types produce symptoms such as:
If esophageal cancer is suspected, the doctor may order imaging tests to determine whether cancer cells are present. If cancer cells are found, treatment will be determined based on how severe the condition is and also your preferences.
The link between hot food and drink and esophageal cancer
According to research published in 2009 in British MedicalJournal (BMJ) and International Journal of Cancerhigh-temperature foods and drinks can increase a person’s risk of developing esophageal cancer in the future.
The study revealed that consumption of hot drinks can increase the risk of developing esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Esophageal cancer is eight times more common in people who often drink hot drinks every day compared to people who consume hot drinks.
In the end, drinks that are too hot should be avoided because they can injure the squamous cells of the esophagus. The damage it causes is similar to a sunburn on the surface of the skin.
Another study published in International Journal of Cancer also found a link between consumption of very hot drinks and esophageal cancer.
This study is a systematic review that examined 59 different studies, and found a strong correlation between tea and coffee drinks that are considered ‘too hot’ and esophageal cancer.
How to Prevent Esophageal Cancer
Eating food that is heated to high temperatures increases the risk of damage to the fragile cells that line the esophagus, a condition that increases the risk of cancer formation.
Therefore, pay attention to the temperature of each drink or food you want to eat. If it’s still too hot, be patient and let the temperature drop.
Meanwhile for you already accustomed to consuming hot food and drinks, preventive measures that can be taken are to regularly consume strawberries. Consuming this fruit is believed to slow the development of esophageal cancer.
As trivial as it may seem, this can make a big difference to your overall health.
Tips for Eating Hot Food and Drinks
So that you can still enjoy hot food and drinks but avoid the risk of esophageal cancer, the following tips can be followed:
- Refrigerate boiling food or drink about 5-10 minutes after removing it from the stove.
- Transfer food or drink to a wide container if you want the temperature to drop more quickly.
- Try to wait until the bursts of boiling subside and the puffs of smoke dissipate before you eat soupy foods.
- If you use hot water from a dispenser, which is usually at 70 degrees Celsius, you should not drink it right away.
Important to know, temperature foods and drinks that are prone to triggering this condition are at 65-100 degrees Celsius. Be sure to take extra care before enjoying your meal. Hopefully this information is useful, Healthy Friends.
- Malekzadeh R. 2008. Tea Drinking Habits and Esophageal Cancer in a High Risk Area in Northern Iran: Population Based Case-Control Study. https://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b929. (Accessed February 24, 2023)
- Ananya Mandhal. 2011. Strawberries for the Prevention of Esophageal Cancer. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20110406/Strawberries-for-prevention-of-esophageal-cancer-Study.aspx. (Accessed February 24, 2023)
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