- Hot tea is one beverage that can provide many health benefits, including protecting your cardiovascular health.
- According to medical research, drinking very hot tea combined with other risk factors can increase your chances of developing esophageal cancer.
- Esophageal cancer is a kind of cancer that affects the lining or the mucus ducts of the esophagus.
Drinking tea, whether hot or cold, has been shown by research to provide beneficial effects. It can prevent cardiovascular diseases, improve heart health, lower blood pressure, regulate digestion, protect your teeth, and hydrate your body.
As much as it offers many health benefits, drinking hot tea has been linked to increasing the risk of developing esophageal cancer in the presence of other risk factors.
Cancer of the esophagus is a disease in which cancer cells form in the linings or mucus ducts of the esophagus. There are two general kinds of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Adenocarcinoma is a type of esophageal cancer that forms in the glandular cells in the lining of the lower part of the esophagus, which is near the stomach. On the other hand, squamous cell carcinoma forms in the flat, thin cells in the lining of the inside part of the upper and middle portion of the esophagus.
There are some factors or conditions that can raise your likelihood of developing cancer of the esophagus, such as chewing tobacco, diet, exposure to air pollution, heavy alcohol use, smoking, and Barrett’s esophagus.
The signs and symptoms that you may have esophageal cancer can include chronic cough, heartburn or indigestion, difficulty or pain in swallowing, hoarseness, decreased appetite, weight loss, and bleeding of the esophagus.
Upon doing a physical examination, doctors can also perform different tests to assess your esophagus’ exact condition. Tests that can help diagnose esophageal cancer can be any of the following:
- Esophagram – It is also called a Barium swallow. An x-ray of your esophagus will be taken after you have swallowed a chalky liquid containing barium.
- Esophagus-gastric-duodenoscopy (EGD) – This is a kind of endoscopy that allows the doctors to see the lining of your esophagus through a small video camera attached to a flexible tube.
- CT Scan – This test uses an x-ray to take pictures at different angles and combines them into a three-dimensional image to show the tumor’s exact size.
- Biopsy – Among the different tests, a biopsy is a type that can generate the exact diagnosis. It is done by getting a small sample of tissue from your esophagus and sending it to the laboratory.
While drinking hot tea alone will not cause cancer of the esophagus, according to research, there are also some studies linking hot tea and esophageal cancer.
One study conducted among habitual tea drinkers in Iran found a 90% increase in risk for esophageal cancer for those who drink 700 milliliters of tea as hot as 60 degrees Celcius.
But the link not only covers hot tea. Drinking hot chocolate coffee, water, and other hot beverages might also raise your risk of developing esophageal cancer. The reason behind this might be due to the damage that hot drinks can do to the lining of the esophagus. When the lining of the esophagus gets damaged, cancer-causing substances like cigarette smoke and alcohol can quickly enter and invade the esophagus. But more research is still needed to establish the connection of drinking hot tea to having a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.