Gullet cancer is a condition that affects people across the world but researchers now claim it originated in the UK.
A study has found that the disease began in the 1950s as the result of an unknown factor.
To trace the cancer's lineage, scientists looked at data from 16 population-based cancer registries across eight countries dating back between 29 and 54 years ago.
They found that instances of gullet cancer are continuing to rise across the board, with men three and nine times more likely to develop the disease.
It was also observed that the first surge in diagnoses occurred in the 1960s in England and Scotland, before a similar surge in US in the mid-1970s.
Researchers concluded: "It seems reasonable to hypothesise that the effects of a strong, highly prevalent and yet unidentified causal factor—first introduced in the UK in the middle of the 20th century—have been superimposed on the effects of known risk factors."
It is commonly thought that smoking and heavy alcohol consumption increase a person's likelihood of developing gullet cancer. However, a study has found no link between excessive alcohol consumption and oesophageal adenocarcinoma, a common type of gullet cancer.
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