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Hot tea may raise esophageal cancer risk

A new, large prospective study suggests that people who regularly drink very hot tea may raise their risk of developing esophageal cancer.

New research, appearing in the International Journal of Cancer,finds an association between drinking tea at very high temperatures and the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2019, there will be approximately 17,650 new cases of esophageal cancer and over 16,000 people will die from it.

In terms of a person’s outlook, the Society estimate that approximately 20 percent of people with esophageal cancer go on to live for 5 years after the diagnosis.

Numerous factors may raise a person’s risk of developing cancer of the esophagus. These include being older than 55, being male, having acid reflux, or eating a diet high in processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables.

Some researchers have also suggested that regularly drinking very hot liquids may also raise the risk of esophageal cancer.

However, most of these studies asked the participants to remember and estimate how much tea they drank and at what temperature.

Such an approach may have biased the results. Namely, when participants have to estimate something in retrospect, recall bias may affect their answers. So, a new study aimed to rectify this by measuring tea drinking temperature objectively — i.e., in a way that did not depend on a person’s memory, feelings, or opinions.

Researchers, led by Dr. Farhad Islami, the strategic director of Cancer Surveillance Research at the American Cancer Society, also wanted to study tea drinking habits prospectively rather than retroactively.

Read on: Hot tea may raise esophageal cancer risk

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