Conclusion

The wide variation in the incidences of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine by geographic location and by population suggest that environmental factors play an important role in the etiology. Indeed, several risk factors are commonly shared by these cancer sites, including tobacco use, a diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables, and a diet high in salted, cured, or smoked food. Strategies for gastrointestinal cancer prevention should aim to counteract these risk factors. In addition, avoidance of heavy alcohol consumption and eradication of H. pylori may significantly reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer and stomach cancer, respectively. Studies are under way to test the efficacy of chemoprevention agents in the prevention of esophageal cancer and stomach cancer in high-risk populations. The development of noninvasive screening tests, such as molecular or imaging technology, is needed for early detection and better prognosis.

See also: Alcohol: Disease Risk and Beneficial Effects. Ascorbic Acid: Physiology, Dietary Sources and Requirements. Diabetes Mellitus: Etiology and Epidemiology. Fruits and Vegetables. Small Intestine: Disorders. Stomach: Disorders.

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