Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer — ASCO

Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer — ASCO

The opinion of the medical community is that drinking alcohol increases the risk for cancer, but at least 70 percent of American's don't believe their drinking has an effect on their long-term health, particularly their risk for at least five specific cancers.

That report analyzed 119 studies, including data on 12 million women and over a quarter of a million breast cancer cases, and concluded there was strong evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of both pre- and postmenopausal cancer, and that drinking a small glass of wine or beer every day - about 10 grams of alcohol - increases premenopausal breast cancer risk by 5 percent and postmenopausal risk by 9 percent.

While the ASCO does suggest strategies for cutting back on drinking, it also advocates for temperate use of alcohol, rather than recommending giving up drinking altogether. Men drink two drinks a day, or 14 a week. The study's authors said their findings indicated "a public health crisis", especially with the increase in problem drinking among its more than 43,000 participants.

In a phone interview, Gapstur stressed that people living with cancer remain at risk for other cancers so it's important that they realize alcohol's role in cancer recurrence, too.

According to the new research conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), numerous leading cancer doctors over the nation are driving attention to the associations between cancer and alcohol.

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Alcohol does not affect each part of the body in the same carcinogenic way, as Dr LoConte explained.

You can also do certain things to decrease your cancer risk, like getting more exercise. Moderate drinkers also face elevated risks for cancers of the voice box, female breast cancer and colorectal cancers. When cirrhosis develops, healthy liver cells are replaced by damaged scar tissue cells, which can become cancer cells.

When a woman's estrogen levels become abnormally high, the hormone puts her at higher risk for breast cancer. Dr. Bruce Johnson, president of the ASCO, an organization of cancer doctors, said in a statement that People habitually do not relate to drinking, wine and hard liquor with rising risk of developing cancer in their lifespan. "And if you don't drink, don't start".

The authors write that the number of adults who binge drink has been increasing during the past decade.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said. "If you move from a "heavy drinker" to a "moderate drinker" your risk of all of the cancers does go down".