Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

"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.

For its research, ASCO reviewed earlier studied and made the conclusion that 5.5% of all of the new cancers as well as 5.8% of cancer deaths around the world could be attributed to alcohol. Indeed, a recent survey from the organization found that 70 percent of Americans didn't know that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for cancer. People who drink more than four alcoholic drinks a day have five times the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, five times the risk of esophageal cancer and two times the risk of liver cancer, compared with those who don't drink.

According to the new research conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), numerous leading cancer doctors over the nation are driving attention to the associations between cancer and alcohol.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said. Heavy drinkers who consume more than eight drinks a day have a 63 percent increased risk of female breast cancer because alcohol increases levels of the female sex hormone estrogen.

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LeConte said the new ASCO statement joins other public health organizations "in recognizing that even moderate alcohol use can cause cancer".

"ASCO believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention", the statement reads.

Those that are heavy drinkers face far higher risks of throat and mouth cancer, voice box cancer, liver cancer and to some extent, the colorectal cancers, cautioned the group. The kind of drink does not appear to matter, but experts say a beer or glass of wine here and there is highly unlikely to cause harm. "And if you don't drink, don't start, '" Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement, told the New York Times. 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.

"However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established", Johnson said.

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