Studies find that drinking can increase chances of getting cancer


"Alcohol use-whether light, moderate, or heavy-is linked with increasing the risk of several leading cancers, including those of the breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck", said the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in a statement Wednesday. They oppose it given the evidence that shows there exists a link between the consumption of alcohol and a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

The studies also found heavy drinkers have higher risks of mouth, throat, voice box and liver cancer.

"People are not aware of this", said Susan Gapstur, a vice-president of the American Cancer Society who was not involved with the position statement.

A large organization of cancer doctors has issued a call to action to minimize alcohol consumption. The connection between rising alcohol intake and cancer has been substantially confirmed. "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".

Liver cancer is caused by cirrhosis, which is in turn caused by drinking.

Drinking is linked to 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the US, which is about 21,000 Americans every year.

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Further researchers propounded in 2012 that almost 5.5 percent all novel cancer contingency and 5.8 percent of all cancer related demise worldwide could be assigned to consuming alcohol.

Drinking alcohol has always been associated with various health hazards including development of cancers in the body.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said.

The ASCO defines heavy drinking as "eight or more drinks per week or three or more drinks per day for women, and as many as fifteen or more drinks per week or four or more drinks per day for men".

Dr. Anne McTiernan, a scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who was an author of one of the earlier reports on alcohol and breast cancer, said she was pleased that oncologists were focusing on alcohol.

"ASCO joins a growing number of cancer care and public health organizations in recognizing that even moderate alcohol use can cause cancer", said statement author Dr. Noelle LoConte. "And in female breast cancer, (alcohol) affects the levels of female hormones in the body, and by adjusting the levels of estrogen in particular, it increases risk of breast cancer".

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