Who is more likely to get oesophageal cancer
Anyone can get oesophageal cancer. It's not always clear what causes it.
You might be more likely to get it if you:
- are over the age of 75, it's not very common in people under 45
- are a man
- have certain medical conditions, such as long-term, severe acid reflux or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or a condition called Barrett's oesophagus
Many oesophageal cancers are also linked to your lifestyle.
Barrett's oesophagus is a medical condition where some of the cells in your oesophagus grow abnormally.
If you have Barrett's oesophagus you are slightly more likely to get oesophageal cancer. But this is not common. It is sometimes called a pre-cancerous condition.
Barrett’s oesophagus often does not have any symptoms. But you may have symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
Find out more
How to reduce your chance of getting oesophageal cancer
You cannot always prevent oesophageal cancer. But making healthy changes can lower your chances of getting it.
try to lose weight if you are overweight
let hot drinks cool down a bit before drinking, so they do not damage your oesophagus
try to cut down on alcohol – avoid drinking more than 14 units a week
try to quit smoking
It's important to get any symptoms of oesophageal cancer checked by a GP.
Anyone can get oesophageal cancer, even if you do not think you have a higher chance of getting it.
Page last reviewed: 05 May 2020
Next review due: 05 May 2023