Men are three times more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than women creating one of the biggest gender gaps in cancer rates, according to Cancer Research UK.
Men who drink are far more likely to develop the cancer than women who don't
One particular type of oesophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma, seems to be causing the divide and is linked to acid heartburn, obesity and indigestion.
Figures from last year show that around 5,600 men developed oesophageal cancer compared to 2,800 women. This equates to 15 men in every 100,000 being diagnosed with the disease whilst only around 5 women in 100,000 develop the cancer.
Symptoms of oesophageal cancer include food often getting stuck when you swallow or having persistent heartburn or acid reflux. In many cases these symptoms will be something less serious but you are advised to check them out as soon as possible.
Oesophageal cancer is more likely to develop in those who smoke, eat little fruit and vegetables, are overweight or drink alcohol.
Oesophageal cancer is the ninth most common form of cancer in the UK and its rise has been labelled a ‘quiet epidemic’ by experts who have analysed the increase in cases.
Mr Tim Underwood, an oesophageal surgeon and researcher at the University of Southampton, said: “These figures show a worrying number of oesophageal cancers being diagnosed each year, particularly among men.
“Diagnosing the disease earlier is vital to improving the chances of survival. Food getting stuck when you swallow and persistent heart burn are not normal.
Survival rates for the disease are among the worst cancer rates in the UK and only one in 10 will survive the disease for longer than a decade.
If you are concerned about cancer some private health insurance policies can offer comprehensive cancer care that can give you quick access to the latest drugs and treatment.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013