Published in July 2016, the report is the most rigorous, systematic, global analysis of the scientific research currently available on diet, weight, physical activity and oesophageal cancer, and which of these factors increase or decrease the risk of developing the disease.
Oesophageal cancer is divided into two main subtypes - adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types have some different risk factors although both have a high mortality rate:
Adenocarcinoma arises from the glandular cells present in the lower oesophagus and accounts for approximately 12% of oesophageal cancer globally although the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased sharply in the last few decades.
Squamous cell carcinoma arises from the epithelial cells that line the oesophagus and account for approximately 88% of oesophageal cancer cases globally although rates have declined over the last few years.
There is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. Being overweight or obese was assessed by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and waist-hip ratio.
There is strong evidence that consuming alcoholic drinks increases the risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
There is strong evidence that regularly consuming mate, as drunk very hot in the traditional style in South America, increases the risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Changes since the last time we reviewed the worldwide evidence on the link between diet, nutrition, physical activity, weight and oesophageal cancer (for our 2007 Second Expert Report):
For the first time we have been able to look at all exposures by subtype of oesophageal cancer.