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Two Popular Beverages Linked to Throat Cancer

A cup of hot tea can be soothing on a cold day, but a new study urges you to think about the temperature of your beverage before you start sipping. Drinking scalding hot tea that is greater than 158°F (70°C) has been shown to increase the risk of throat cancer. Participants in the study who made black tea and drank it two minutes after pouring were five times as likely to develop throat cancer as compared to those who let their tea sit for four or more minutes. Researchers think the relationship between super-hot tea and cancer is connected to repeated injury to the lining of the throat.

I didn't know this but cancer of the esophagus is one of the deadliest cancers out there, and 500,000 people worldwide die each year from it. So take preventative measures by allowing your hot tea to cool so that it's warm or lukewarm, and less than 149°F (65°C).

Unfortunately, there's more bad news when it comes to esophageal cancer. If you drink alcohol then you'll want to


Another study shows that a person who experiences a red face or flushing after drinking alcohol may have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. About one-third of Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans display this red-face phenomenon, accompanied by an increased heart rate and nausea. It's cause by an inherited lack of an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). Many doctors are unaware that ALDH2-deficient people have this elevated risk, and they should be since the survival rate of esophageal cancer is really low, about 15.6 percent. Even moderate drinkers are at risk, so for those who suffer from a red face after drinking, it's best to avoid alcohol. Tell me, do you turn pink when you drink?


Join The Conversation
hoopman hoopman 4 years
In January of 2012 I severely scalded my throat on a cup of hot cider. In April, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 throat cancer, with a fast growing tumor on the site of my throat injury. I am a non-smoking, light drinking, very active 50 year old male with very little cancer history in my family. My doctors will never know for sure what caused my cancer, but I certainly think this was my cause. My takeaway from this article is to drink hot beverages very slowly and, in the event of a throat scalding incident, see an ENT doctor and monitor the site of the injury to catch any abnormal cell growth before you have full-fledged cancer. BTW my cancer is gone and I have a clean prognosis, but after nearly $200M in medical bills and a lot of pain and suffering - you want to avoid this if you can.
Pop-Champagne Pop-Champagne 8 years
oh gosh I turn into a tomato. Then again I'm also Taiwanese ;)
telane telane 8 years
I am also one to turn red while doing absolutely anything (I have what they call translucent skin) so I don't think I will stop my wine habit.
bisou002 bisou002 8 years
laureng22, exactly! you're supposed to let black tea steep for 4-5 minutes before removing the bag, THEN you can start sipping. i worked for a gourmet tea importer so i consider myself a professional tea drinker. ;) lol
nikkisoda nikkisoda 8 years
I like these studies. I have a lot of different forms off cancer in my family. It is nice to know what may heighten your risks so I know what to stay away from. Yes cancer can strike anyone at anytime. But that doesn't mean you can't put up a fight. If you don't like the studies then don't read them.
FLUERFAIRY! i'm so with you!! I am glad that we are informed of studies, but sometimes it's so overwhelming.. "Good morning, everything you've done this week causes cancer!" /:
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Amen, fleurfairy.
aeschere aeschere 8 years
ahhh this makes a lot of sense. i like cold tea so i think i'm okay.
audrina audrina 8 years
Seriously, who drinks their tea, coffee or hot chocolate so scalding hot that it burns their mouth up? We all know that if you do that you will end up with a scalding burnt tongue and throat. That's silly. I think most people let their brew sit for about 4-5 minutes minimum to let it cool down.
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
It's so frustrating and everyone's seems like everything causes cancer these days. I flush when I drink and that sucks. Ugh...another thing to add to the list of carginogenic items.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Is it the heat of the tea? Or is it just heat? Because then it would mean anything that is piping hot. Or is it some chemical reaction from the heat and the properties of the tea? If it's just the heat, then why pinpoint just tea? Why not coffee, soups, entrees etc.?
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
I love tea & alcohol! But I can't stand it too hot and am a fairly light drinker (1-2 times per month) so I think I'm safe from these. Interesting results though, not sure how reliable they are..
neonbee neonbee 8 years
Gosh. I turn pink all the time - it doesn't even matter if I had a drink or not.
gansett gansett 8 years
Esophageal cancer is linked to heavy drinking, not one glass of wine. I think people become complacent because of the amount of studies, but to ignore them is foolish. My father died of esophageal cancer at fifty four and at forty four I'm dealing with Barrett's esophagus (a precancerous condition). I'm a non-drinker, non-smoker, and in good health otherwise but I take into account studies that I read. I just had my second endoscopy in six months on Friday. Trust me, there needs to be many more studies on this deadly cancer.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
But the chinese serve everything scalding hot (even food) and drink tea like crazy and they live forever!! I'm with BJC, I'm just going to start ignoring these.
BJC BJC 8 years
my face flushes after i drink red wine but thats it....and i also agree with fleurfairy HONESTLY everyweek its something new that causes cancer, basically ive come to realize that if i eat a well balanced diet, exercise and take care of myself (health body etc) then thats the best i can do. i am not going to put the things i enjoy (like wine or chocolate) on hold because some new study says that it will give me cancer....and these studies are all contradictory, one study says a glass of red wine will help prevent cancer and then the next one tells me that because my face gets pink after i have that one glass then im more likely to get cancer.....just make up your minds already :(
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
Aw geez. I turn a bit pink after having a few drinks. And I am obsessed with drinking piping hot beverages and soup. I hate warm or lukewarm and have resorted to re-nuking stuff just to get it back up to boiling hot. I think I could be in trouble! Eh...I bet if I wait a few years a new study will come out and I'll be just fine. :)
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
who drink tea that quickly after letting it steep?
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
I get rosy faced no matter what I do so getting it while I drink won't deter me. Of course I'll keep my drinking to a minimum :) As for the tea, eh. I drink it at a moderate temperature. I can't stand things that are too hot. Now is it the temperature itself that causes the throat cancer? Or is it a combination of tea and hot liquid? Because if it's just the temperature of the water then that could be said for other things like chicken soup!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Right, fleurfairy??? I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels that way. Luckily, I don't get rosy-faced when I drink, so no worries.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
What DOESN'T cause cancer? That list would be alot shorter.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I heard of this study the other day... Yes, I turn pink :oops:
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