Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer

Posted November 09, 2017

This quote comes from Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is the lead author of a statement recently put together by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in the Journal of Clinical Oncology about the ties between alcohol and the risks of cancer.

The American Cancer Society suggests people limit alcohol intake to one drink a day for women and two for men. Alcohol consumption can also "delay or negatively impact cancer treatment", the authors noted.

For its research, ASCO reviewed earlier studied and made the conclusion that 5.5% of all of the new cancers as well as 5.8% of cancer deaths around the world could be attributed to alcohol.

Light drinking increases your risk of head and neck cancers by 13 per cent, while heavy drinking increases risk by over 500 per cent. Now, one of the nation's largest and most prominent associations of cancer doctors says that moderate-and even light-drinking can increase your cancer risk. Heavy drinkers face roughly five times the risk of mouth and throat cancers and squamous cell esophageal cancers than nondrinkers, almost three times the risk of cancers of the voice box or larynx, double the risk of liver cancer, as well as increased risks for female breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

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But if you drink more than that, all hope is not lost. Although the greatest risks were found in heavy drinkers, some risks were also observed in moderate drinkers. Also saying, "It's different than tobacco where we say, 'Never smoke". "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer".

For people who choose to drink alcohol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men consume no more than two drinks per day and women consume no more than one drink per day to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, including cancer. "We don't have randomized trials, but sometimes when you start looking at the coherence of all the evidence, including the observational epidemiology, the lab studies, the mechanistic studies, you begin to see a picture and get more clarity". "It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.

"With colon cancer, alcohol seems to interfere with the way folate is absorbed, which is a known precursor in the path to developing cancer in the colon", LoConte said to CTV News.