Scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and partners estimate that the global burden of oesophageal cancer will increase by more than 50% from 2020 to 2040, to almost 1 million new cases per year.
In 2020 there were estimated to be about 604 000 new cases of oesophageal cancer and about 544 000 deaths from oesophageal cancer globally, with large variations in incidence and mortality across world regions. The highest incidence rates were observed in Eastern Asia and Southern and Eastern Africa. Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, one of the main subtypes of this disease, dominated the burden of oesophageal cancer in these regions. Specific risk factors, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption, consumption of hot beverages, and indoor air pollution, are likely to contribute to the high incidence rates in these regions.
In regions with historically low incidence, such as North America and Europe, high rates of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, another subtype, have been documented. This subtype of oesophageal cancer has been previously linked to obesity.
The results highlight the future impact of oesophageal cancer if no further cancer control actions are taken. This serves as an important evidence base for governments, clinicians, and researchers to implement and study interventions for primary prevention.
Morgan E, Soerjomataram I, Rumgay H, Coleman HG, Thrift AP, Vignat J, et al.
The global landscape of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and esophageal adenocarcinoma incidence and mortality in 2020 and projections to 2040: new estimates from GLOBOCAN 2020
Gastroenterol, Published online 4 June 2022;
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