Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

Alcohol

Alcohol is associated with 5.5 per cent of all new cancers and 5.8 per cent of all cancer deaths worldwide, including cancers of the breast, larynx, liver, colon, esophagus, and head and neck, according to statement released Tuesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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

As of 2013, about 73 per cent of Americans reported consuming alcohol, and almost 13 per cent described their consumption habits as binge drinking, according to a survey published in JAMA Psychiatry in August.

Support efforts to eliminate the use of "pinkwashing" to market alcoholic beverages.

"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.

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

Between five and six percent of new cancers and cancer deaths globally are directly attributed to alcohol, yet only 38 percent of Americans limit their intake of alcohol to reduce their risk for cancer, the organization wrote.

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.

"ASCO believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention", the statement, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, said. In one, it converts into a carcinogen called acetaldehyde, which can stop cells from repairing DNA damage, explains lead author Dr. Noelle K. LoConte of the University of Wisconsin. He added, however, that the link between alcohol and cancer has been established firmly, giving the medical community much-needed guidance on how people can reduce risks for the disease.

ASCO is one of an increasing number of organizations focused on spreading public health strategies to prevent the risk of cancer.

"With colon cancer, alcohol seems to interfere with the way folate is absorbed, which is a known precursor in the path to developing cancer in the colon", LoConte said to CTV News. They think they're helping to fight breast cancer, but nothing could be farther from the truth, she said.

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