Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus — a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Your esophagus helps move the food you swallow from the back of your throat to your stomach to be digested.
Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. More men than women get esophageal cancer.
The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects your mouth and your stomach. Rings of muscle (sphincters) in the upper and lower portions contract and relax to allow food and liquid to pass.
The research, which was published in the International Journal of Cancer, studied the drinking habits of 50,045 people aged 40 to 75 in northeastern Iran.
Dr Islami, from the American Cancer Society, said: “Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages.
“However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking.”
Oesophageal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the gullet (oesophagus), which carries food from the throat to the stomach.
If you let your tea cool down before drinking it, or add cold milk, you are unlikely to be increasing the risk of cancer.
In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation – classified drinking very hot beverages above 65C as a probable carcinogen.
The judgement was informed by studies which mostly looked at mate, a type of tea that is traditionally drunk at very hot temperatures, mainly in South America, Asia, and Africa.
However, they said it was the temperature rather than the type of drink that was associated with cancer so the findings would also, in theory, apply to other types of tea.
The research team behind the new study, which includes researchers from the University of Cambridge, concluded: “Our results substantially strengthen the existing evidence supporting an association between hot beverage drinking and [oesophageal cancer].”
Georgina Hill, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “This study adds to the evidence that having drinks hotter than 60 degrees may increase the risk of oesophageal cancer.”
“Most people in the UK don’t drink their tea at such high temperatures,” Ms Hill said.
“As long as you’re letting your tea cool down a bit before you drink it, or adding cold milk, you’re unlikely to be raising your cancer risk – and not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting down on alcohol will do much more to stack the odds in your favour.”