It was already known that too much alcohol and frequent smoking are risk factors for esophageal cancer, but the new study suggests that the risk increases if you add to it and very hot tea. But hot tea alone does not seem to increase the risk of cancer when someone does not drink alcohol or smoke.
Researchers at the China National Science Foundation and Beijing University Health Center who published the report in the American Medical Journal “Annals of Internal Medicine,” according to Reuters, surveyed more than 456,000 people aged 30 to 79-year-old, of which 1,731 experienced esophageal cancer over a decade.
It was found that those who drank hot tea, consumed too much alcohol and also smoked, were at least five times more likely to have cancer of the esophagus than those who did none of the three. Smokers who drank hot tea (but not alcohol) daily had a double risk.
Chinese researchers said that “abstinence from hot tea can help prevent esophageal cancer in people who drink a lot of alcohol or smoke.”
Experts in Britain, a country where tea consumption is traditionally high, have shown that in the West in general people usually drink their tea at lower temperatures than in Asia, resulting in less damage to their esophagus. Cancer beginning in the esophagus has a survival of only five years after the initial diagnosis.