Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer

09 November, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Leticia Riley
  • Alcohol's cancer risk often overlooked

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.

In the USA, it is estimated that 3.5 per cent of all cancer deaths are linked to alcohol, and in 2012, 5.5 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses and 5.8 per cent of deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of several cancers, including head and neck, esophageal, liver, colorectal and female breast cancers.

In addition, researchers said that in 2012, approximately 5.5 percent of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths globally could be attributed to drinking alcohol.

LoConte is the author of "Alcohol and Cancer", an American Society of Clinical Oncology special article. 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 Tuesday statement, the group cited evidence that light drinking can even slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and increase the risk of a common esophageal cancer.

The organization also wants to end the "pinkwashing" of alcoholic beverages.

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Numerous studies have suggested a link between alcohol consumption and certain kinds of cancers. If you don't drink, don't start.

Although heavy, long-term, drinkers were found to have the greatest risks of developing cancer, even modest alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk, researchers said in the publication.

Dr. LoConte said it's not just wine.

"The story of alcohol has been quite consistent and has been peeled away like an onion over time, and we're continuing to learn more about the mechanisms involved", Dr. Gapstur said. 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.

Alcohol is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Cancer Research. She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking.

According to ASCO, excessive alcohol consumption can also delay or negatively affect cancer treatment.

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