Korean J Helicobacter Up Gastrointest Res.  2019 Sep;19(3):145-148. 10.7704/kjhugr.2019.19.3.145.

Epidemiology of and Risk Factors for Esophageal Cancer in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea. junghk@ewha.ac.kr

Abstract

Esophageal cancer is an aggressive malignant tumor with a poor prognosis because of its typically advanced stage at diagnosis and treatment-related morbidity and mortality. Of the two major subtypes, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma, ESCC is prevalent in more than 90 percent of esophageal cancer patients in Korea. Both the incidence and mortality of esophageal cancer are declining, and the relative survival rate of patients with esophageal cancer has improved. These epidemiological changes are attributed to increase in the detection rate of esophageal cancer at localized and regional stages before distant spread of the disease. And the most well-known risk factors for esophageal adenocarcinoma are obesity and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. The carcinogenesis of ESCC is associated with chronic irritation caused by smoking, heavy alcohol use, drinking very hot beverages, and a low socioeconomic status. Understanding the risk factors for esophageal cancer can lead to the identification of preventative strategies to reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer or to improve the long-term prognosis.

Keyword

Epidemiology; Esophageal neoplasms; Physiopathology; Risk factors

MeSH Terms

Adenocarcinoma
Beverages
Carcinogenesis
Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
Diagnosis
Drinking
Epidemiology*
Esophageal Neoplasms*
Gastroesophageal Reflux
Humans
Incidence
Korea*
Mortality
Obesity
Prognosis
Risk Factors*
Smoke
Smoking
Social Class
Survival Rate
Smoke
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