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Oesophageal Cancer

Oesophageal Cancer

8 April 2019

Introduction

Oesophageal cancer was the eighteenth commonest cancer in Hong Kong, accounting for 1.4% of all new cancer cases in 2016.

Incidence

There were 451 new cases of oesophageal cancer in 2016, with 364 cases of males and 87 cases of females. The disease is more common among male population and the male to female ratio is about 4.2 to 1. The crude incidence rates were 10.8 for male and 2.2 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised incidence rates were 5.8 for male and 1.1 for female per 100000 standard population.

Trend of incidence

The age-standardised incidence rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1983 and 2016.

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1983-2000 (View)

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 2001-2016 (View)

Age-standardised incidence rate* of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1983-2016

Age-standardised incidence rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1983-2016

Notes: * Age-standardised incidence rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.
    Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach.
    Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:   Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health
Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority

 

Mortality

Oesophageal cancer caused 297 deaths in 2017, accounting for 2.1% of all cancer deaths. It was the tenth leading cause of cancer deaths in Hong Kong. The crude death rates were 7.1 for male and 1.4 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised death rates of oesophageal cancer were 3.7 for male and 0.7 for female per 100000 standard population. 

Trend of mortality

The age-standardised death rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1981 and 2017.

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1981-2000 (View)

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 2001-2017 (View)

Age-standardised death rate* of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1981-2017

Age-standardised death rate of oesophageal cancer by sex, 1981-2017

Notes:

*

Age-standardised death rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.

 

 

Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. 

 

 

Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

 

Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health

Oesophageal cancer corresponds to codes 150 in ICD-9 and C15 in ICD-10.

Who is at risk of oesophageal cancer?

  • Age: risk increases with age
  • Gender: Oesophageal cancer is more common in men
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Being overweight and obese

How can I prevent or lower the risk of oesophageal cancer?

You can prevent or lower the risk of oesophageal cancer by adopting the following healthy lifestyle habits:

  • Aviod smoking
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Maintain a healthly body weight and waist circumference
  • Have regular physical activities

What are the common symptoms of oesophageal cancer?

The usual symptom is difficulty in swallowing. It may progress from difficulty in swallowing solid food to liquid food at the later stage. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Central chest discomfort behind the sternum
  • Back discomfort between the shoulder blades
  • Malnutrition
  • Significant weight loss

If you notice any symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Related information

The Department of Health provides smoking cessation information and services for smokers. To know more about harmful effects of smoking and tobacco control in Hong Kong, please visit the website of the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office.

To know more about harms of alcohol, please click here.

You can also call our 24-hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health 2833 0111 for more health information. Please click here to view the full list of health topics.