Is Drinking Alcohol Safe? Heavy Use Could Lead To Cancer

by Jared Lewis November 9, 2017, 0:34
Is Drinking Alcohol Safe? Heavy Use Could Lead To Cancer

A new study finds even moderate alcohol consumption may increase your risk of certain cancers.

As of 2013, about 73 per cent of Americans reported consuming alcohol, and almost 13 per cent described their consumption habits as binge drinking, according to a survey published in JAMA Psychiatry in August.

The authors also called for enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting alcohol sales to minors, and restrictions to young people's exposure to alcohol advertising. While it is okay to drink occasionally (read rarely), you shouldn't be making a habit out of it. It may also be associated with liver cancer, according to Ashton. In a statement released today, ASCO listed alcohol as a definite risk factor for cancer and said it contributed to 5% to 6% of new cancers and cancer deaths globally.

The CDC recommends that women have no more than one drink a day or eight drinks a week.

"People typically don't associate drinking beer, wine, and hard liquor with increasing their risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes".

One of the biggest problems with the findings is the reality that most people just don't see drinking as a cancer or major health risk factor unless it's truly out of control.

"The most recent data that I have seen estimated that this was 18,200-21,300 alcohol-related deaths in the United States in 2009", co-author Noelle LoConte, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health was quoted while talking about the same. 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.

Less than one out of three adults said alcohol was a cancer risk factor, but most also did not mention obesity as being a risk factor.

Even those who drink moderately, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one daily drink for women and two for men, face almost a doubling of the risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, compared to nondrinkers.

"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. "It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.


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