'Reused Oil Main Cause for Food Pipe Cancer' - The New Indian Express

'Reused Oil Main Cause for Food Pipe Cancer'

Published: 22nd May 2014 07:41 AM

Last Updated: 22nd May 2014 07:41 AM

CHENNAI : If you are a street food buff, you better keep a watch on what you eat as you might be putting yourself to the risk of developing esophageal or food pipe cancer.

A study involving 102 patients with food pipe cancer in government hospitals in Chennai, done by students of Surgical Gastroenterology Department at the Madras Medical College (MMC), revealed that close to 90 per cent of those suffering from food pipe cancer had been consuming food prepared with reheated or reused cooking oil.

The study cautioned that most of the street food is made with such oil and contains food additives rich in saturated and trans fat that are suspected to be carcinogens or cancer inducing agents. The study is one among the 16 research papers which the department sent to the 14th World Congress of International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus, which will be held in Vancouver, Canada, in September.

Here is a warning for likers of pickled food, dry fish or uppukandam. Over 65 per cent of patients in the study were those who had consumed more than 10 grams of salt every day. “The common factors we found in the study were reuse of cooking oil and consumption of improperly preserved food. Besides, high salt intake can not only lead to a high risk of stomach cancer but also food pipe cancer,” said Dr Chandramohan, Head of the Gastroenterology Department, MMC. Besides these reasons, tobacco in any form and alcohol also pose high risk, leading to esophageal cancer. The study found that about 60 per cent of men were smokers, while over 50 per cent were in to alcohol consumption.

The study also mentioned factors that one might not usually relate to food pipe cancer — consumption of very hot liquids and usage of wood and kerosene as fuel for cooking.

“Drinking warm fluids is different from drinking it hot. In China, people serve tea by holding the vessel with a piece of cloth and consumed it instantly. When your hands cannot take the heat, how will your internal organs,” said the doctor. “When the food is exposed to smoke from burning kerosene and wood, it can lead to a risk of cancer in the food pipe. The rural people, whom we included in our study, still use them,” he added.

The only way to prevent cancer is to eat lots of fruits, reduce salt intake and not consume food made of reused oil, advise doctors. “Typical symptom of food pipe cancer is dysphagia and difficulty in swallowing. The more a person delays approaching a doctor, the worse it gets,” he added.

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