Are you a fan of hot tea in the morning or as you get ready for bed? Let it cool off a little, otherwise you may be increasing your risk of developing esophageal cancer, according to new medical research.
Now, it’s not as straightforward as saying that hot drinks alone will spike your risk for esophageal cancer, but the findings are interesting. According to research out of China, experts suggest that people who take their tea scalding hot are exponentially increasing their risk for esophageal cancer if they also drink alcohol regularly or smoke daily.
Hot Tea and Esophageal Cancer Study
For their study, researchers tracked more than 450,000 people for a period of nine years to take a closer look at the link between daily hot tea use, regular smoking and alcohol consumption, and the risk of developing esophageal cancer. What they uncovered was that the risk for developing esophageal cancer was five times higher in individuals who drank very hot tea and drank more than one standard alcoholic drink per week compared to those who drank tea less than once a week and consumed less than one standard drink of alcohol a day.
Additionally, the risk for esophageal cancer doubled in individuals who drank scalding hot tea every day and smoked tobacco regularly compared to nonsmokers who only drank tea occasionally.
“Our findings show a noticeable increase in esophageal cancer risk associated with a combination of high-temperature tea drinking, excessive alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking,” said Dr. Canqing Yu, who led the study. “They suggest that abstaining from hot tea might be beneficial for preventing esophageal cancer in persons who drink alcohol excessively or smoke.”
Preventing Esophageal Cancer
The rate of esophageal cancer is increasing globally, and since treatment success is closely tied with how early the cancer is detected, it is important for individuals to be wary of the symptoms and seek out clinical help at the first signs of a problem. If you smoke or drink regularly, consider getting a standard screening exam if you are over the age of 50. Additionally, if you experience any of the following symptoms, consider contacting an endocrine specialist in your area:
- Voice changes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent heartburn or acid reflux
- Chest pain
- Frequent coughing
For more information about preventing esophageal cancer, or to talk to a specialist about your symptoms, reach out to Dr. Koeplin today.