Informing etiologic research priorities for squamous cell esophageal cancer in Africa: A review of setting-specific exposures to known and putative risk factors

V.A. McCormack, D. Menya, M.O. Munishi, C. Dzamalala, N. Gasmelseed, M. Leon Roux, M. Assefa, O. Osano, M. Watts, A.O. Mwasamwaja, B.T. Mmbaga, G. Murphy, C.C. Abnet, S.M. Dawsey, J. Schüz
Publication year: 

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common cancers in most Eastern and Southern African countries, but its etiology has been understudied to date. To inform its research agenda, we undertook a review to identify, of the ESCC risk factors which have been established or strongly suggested worldwide, those with a high prevalence or high exposure levels in any ESCC-affected African setting and the sources thereof. We found that for almost all ESCC risk factors known to date, including tobacco, alcohol, hot beverage consumption, nitrosamines and both inhaled and ingested PAHs, there is evidence of population groups with raised exposures, the sources of which vary greatly between cultures across the ESCC corridor. Research encompassing these risk factors is warranted and is likely to identify primary prevention strategies.