Economics at your fingertips  

Cancer of the Oesophagus in Africa, Population Susceptibility, and Preventive Intervention: A Literature Review

Alastair M Sammon

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 3, 124

Abstract: Squamous cancer of the oesophagus has been, for almost a century, a major cause of morbidity and mortality in East and Southern Africa, and has been referred to as endemic in many high-incidence regions. Uncertainty about aetiology has inhibited effective preventive initiatives. The aims of this study are to assess why some African regions and countries have a very high incidence of oesophageal cancer; to assess evidence-based associations and risk factors for population susceptibility and for individual susceptibility; to identify which of these are amenable to change; to put forward possible strategies to achieve change. A literature review identified the well-evidenced associations with high incidences of squamous oesophageal cancer to be maize, maize meal, and tobacco. A predominantly maize-based diet, and high use of maize meal are associated with population susceptibility. Tobacco is associated with individual susceptibility within a susceptible population. Alcohol, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and wild vegetables are possible risk factors; other proposed risk factors are improbable. Possible actions are discussed for countries where there is a very high incidence of squamous cancer of the oesophagus. Measures to reduce population susceptibility include regulation of commercially produced maize meal to reduce content of free fatty acids at the time of consumption and supplementation of the diet with omega-3 fatty acid. Fortification of maize meal with zinc and selenium, and health education about production and consumption of fruit and vegetables may be helpful. Legislation to reduce tobacco consumption will reduce individual susceptibility.

Date: 2021
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf) (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Global Journal of Health Science from Canadian Center of Science and Education Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Canadian Center of Science and Education ().

Page updated 2021-06-17
Handle: RePEc:ibn:gjhsjl:v:13:y:2021:i:3:p:124