Even Moderate Alcohol Intake Increases Your Risk Of Cancer, Study Says

Fans will be able to buy beer or wine at men's hockey games at St. Cloud State this year

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, an association that represents numerous top cancer doctors in the country, is bringing to the attention of medical world the links between cancer and alcohol.

The latest study conducted by the group of researchers from ASCO has found links between drinking alcohol and risks for several types of cancer like esophogeal, mouth, liver, colorectal and breast cancers. Approximately 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the US, that is about 19,500 deaths are alcohol related, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alcohol is not the only important factor to consider when trying to reduce your cancer risk - your genes, exercise regimen, and exposure to pollutants can play a role, too. A statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reviewed the evidence and found more links between alcohol consumption and cancer. 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. "In cancers for which both alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking are causal factors, the cancer risks in those who are both alcohol drinkers and cigarette smokers are much larger than the risks seen for those who only drink alcohol or only smoke cigarettes", reads the statement.

"The most recent studies by the World Health Organization confirms one drink a day modestly increases a woman's risk of breast cancer", LoConte said.

Alcohol, Dr LoConte says, "interferes with the absorption of folate, which is a critical step in the development of colon cancer".


The risk for heavy drinkers - defined as eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more a week for men, including binge drinkers - are multiples higher.

"With alcohol we are not saying don't drink ever". He claimed that he hopes this knowledge empowers doctors "to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer".

"Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer", she added. "Don't start.' This is a little more subtle".

One way alcohol may lead to cancer is because the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, which causes changes and mutations in DNA, Dr. Gapstur said. "It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.

Heavy alcohol use could increase the risk of cancer, pictured is a customer drinking an IPA beer at a brewery February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California.

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