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


People living with cancer remain at risk for other cancer and hence should not drink even small or moderate amounts of alcohol.

The American Society of Clinical Oncologists have released a statement urging drink lovers to watch their alcohol consumption. I believe that the best strategy to reducing overall population alcohol use is policy strategy - making the healthier choice the easy choice. ASCO recently did a survey and they found out that a large majority of physicians and patients were not aware of the association - this is also an opportunity to spread awareness.

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. Men drink two drinks a day, or 14 a week.

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

Alcohol causes damage in different ways.

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

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. Although the greatest risks were found in heavy drinkers, some risks were also observed in moderate drinkers.

"If you look at these figures, you see alcohol is a contributing factor; certainly it has a causal role", Dr. Hudis said.

When a woman's estrogen levels become abnormally high, the hormone puts her at higher risk for breast cancer.

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

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less", said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement.

"We're not saying no one should ever drink at all - we're just saying if you do drink, even trying to keep it down to less than one drink a day would be a smart choice", Alice Bender, a registered dietitian who is the head of nutrition programs for the AICR, told Business Insider in May. If you do drink, there's no reason to increase.

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