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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-18

A survey of risk factors in carcinoma esophagus in the valley of Kashmir, Northern India

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, SKIMS, Srinagar, India
2 Department of Radiological Physics, SKIMS, Srinagar, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, SKIMS, Srinagar, India

Correspondence Address:
N A Khan
Department of Radiation Oncology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir - 190011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.80431

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Background/Objective: Esophageal cancer has a peculiar geographical distribution and shows marked differences in incidence within a particular geographical region. Presently, as there seems little prospect of early detection of this cancer, an understanding of the etiological factors may suggest opportunities for its primary prevention. In this paper, we have tried to determine the role of diet and other life-style related factors in the etiology of cancer of esophagus. Material and Methods: A total of 100 confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus patients were enrolled for the study (Group A). 100 healthy subjects were included as controls (Group B). A predesigned questionnaire dealing with the basic patient data, dietary and smoking habits etc. was distributed among the cases in both groups. The data was thoroughly analyzed to define an association with the development of cancer of esophagus. Results: Group A patients included 71 males and 29 females in the age range of 40-70 years. Majority 37% were farmers, 29% house wives. Of the 72% smokers, 66% smoked hookah. 29% had positive family history. More than 90% took salt-tea at breakfast. Meat consumption was low, 44% took it weekly and 42% on monthly basis. 69% took fish yearly. Group B included 75 males and 25 females of which 35.7% were hookah smokers. Conclusion: Poor socio-economic status resulting in fewer intakes of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish in addition to heavy hookah smoking are suspected to be the major risk factors for the development of esophageal cancer.

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