Sun, Jul 15th - 8:13PM
Cancer and Alcohol
The diseases produced by the alcohol are:
Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus: Alcohol use
clearly raises the risk of these cancers. The combined use of alcohol
and tobacco increases the risk of these cancers far more than the
effects of either drinking or smoking alone. This may be because alcohol
can act as a solvent, helping harmful chemicals in tobacco to get into
the cells lining the digestive tract. Alcohol may also slow down these
cells’ ability to repair DNA damage caused by chemicals in tobacco.
Liver cancer: Long-term alcohol use has been linked to an increased
risk of liver cancer. Regular, heavy alcohol use can damage the liver,
leading to inflammation. This, in turn, may raise the risk of liver
Breast cancer: Regular consumption of even a few drinks per week is
associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. This risk
may be especially high in women who do not get enough folate in their
diet or through supplements. Alcohol can affect estrogen levels in the
body, which may explain some of the increased risk. Reducing alcohol
intake may be an important way for many women to lower their risk of
Colorectal cancer: Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of
cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence for such a link is
generally stronger in men than in women, although studies have found the
link in both sexes.
A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, suggested that between three and six small glasses of wine a
week was linked to a 15% increase in risk.
The study, which followed 105,986 people for nearly 28 years, said
the increase was “small”. Experts said cutting down on alcohol could
reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Other studies have linked the effect of drinking alcohol to cancer,
but the authors of this study argued that the effect of low-level
drinking had not been fully explored.
In women who never consumed alcohol, there were 281 breast cancers
per 100,000 women per year. That increased to 333 cancers for people
drinking between three and six glasses of wine per week. There was a
much greater increase, to 413, for those consuming more than 19 glasses.
One of the researchers said: “We did find an increased risk at low levels of use, but the risk was quite small.
Although the exact mechanism for the association between alcohol
consumption and cancer is not known, one probable explanation would
involve alcohol’s effects on circulating oestrogen levels. Breakthrough
of this disease, an expert said: This study adds weight to what we
already know; regularly drinking alcohol can increase your risk of
developing breast cancer. We do know that limiting your alcohol intake
can decrease your risk of developing the disease, as can maintaining a
healthy weight, and being physically active.
This study adds to already strong evidence that drinking even small amounts of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
Cutting down on alcohol can reduce the chance of developing breast
cancer – as can keeping a healthy weight and being physically active. A
healthy lifestyle isn’t a guarantee against cancer but it helps stack
the odds in our favor.