The Environmental factors including trace elements and heavy metals may influence on the upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers but there are a few tissue evaluations in the literature.To measure the tissue content of zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), tin (Sn), copper (Cu), aluminum (Al), lead (Pb), and iron (Fe) in stomach and esophagus cancerous tissues compared to the adjacent healthy tissues.
In a cross-sectional study, these trace elements and heavy metals were evaluated among patients with gastric and esophageal cancers. During endoscopy, multiple samples were taken from cancerous lesions and the adjacent healthy tissues. We used the classic flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) method.
Fifty patients with the mean age of 53.92 ±1.24 years were enrolled in this study. Fifty-two percent of patients were male. Thirteen patients suffered from esophageal cancer and thirty–seven patients were afflicted with gastric cancer. Also, smoking history was reported in 23(46%) patients. There were significant differences in the median concentrations of Zn, Cr, Sn and, Cu (P < 0.05) between two groups. Although no significant change was shown in the tissue content in the esophageal samples, there were significant differences in the median concentrations of Zn, Cr and, Sn (P<0.05) in gastric tissues. Also, we revealed that gender influences the level of some trace elements.
The tissue contents of some elements were altered in gastric and esophageal cancers. This difference may reflect the underlying mechanism of cellular changing during the tumorigenesis or direct exposure of these elements. Coexisting of other risk factors needs further evaluations in larger cohort studies.