Frequent heartburn raises throat cancer risk
Maybe you ate a little too much spicy food. You take an antacid and assume the discomfort will pass. But it turns out that if this happens too often, you could be increasing your risk of developing throat cancer. A study from Brown University concluded that frequent heartburn can increase the risk of throat and vocal cord cancers by as much as 78 percent, even among those who were not heavy drinkers or smokers.
This study analyzed 468 throat cancer patients, 163 vocal cord cancer patients and 1,234 control subjects to match with each cancer patient. A questionnaire was filled out by each participant about history of heartburn, smoking and drinking habits, family history of cancer and demographic information. The results indicated that a history of frequent heartburn was associated with a dramatically elevated risk of throat and vocal cord cancer.
This study also found that taking antacids had a protective effect, lowering the cancer risk by 41 percent, while prescription medications proved less effective.