According to new statistics from Cancer Research United Kingdom since the 1980s esophageal cancer rates have increased by 50% in men, with new cases reaching almost 6,000.

These new figures show the number of men diagnosed with esophageal cancer has increased from around 2,700 cases three decades ago to 5,740 cases in 2012.

The changes in population size equates to a 50% increase from 15 to 23 per 100,000 people.

In women, the increase is considerably smaller with around 10% more now developing the disease compared to the 80s. Now 2,802 women are diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

These new statistics show a continuing rise in esophageal cancer rates, especially in men. These statistics are very concerning as esopheal cancer can be notoriously hard to treat.

Luckily researchers are making great strides in the early detection of the disease. There is a development of a simple way to diagnose a group of people at high risk by asking them to swallow a sponge to test for the disease.

In order to address the rising numbers of cases and boost research, Cancer Research United Kingdom is holding an International Symposium on Esophageal Cancer at the University of Oxford this weekend.

The latest data also demonstrates that esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer death in the United Kingdom. About 5,200 men died from the disease in 2012.

Symptoms of esophageal cancer include persistent indigestion or heartburn, difficulty swallowing, food coming back up and unexplained weight loss. It is most likely not cancer, but it is best to get these symptoms checked by a GP.

It is worrying to see how rapidly the number of men getting esophageal cancer is rising. However, there are many things people can do to help cut their chances of getting the disease.

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