The 7 Types of Cancer Tied to Alcohol Consumption
Studies have linked alcohol abuse with a number of serious health problems, including liver cirrhosis and chronic disease. Now, a recent study indicates that even moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of at least seven specific types of cancer. If you are a heavy or moderate drinker, learn the troubling relationship between alcohol and cancer.
Assessing the Risk
New research suggests alcohol can increase the risk of cancer, even when consumed in relatively small amounts. Appearing in the journal Addiction, the review examined several studies on cancer and alcohol over a period of ten years. Ultimately, researchers found a strong correlation between alcohol consumption and cancer, even for moderate drinkers who consumed just one or two servings a day.
Which Types of Cancer?
According to the study, even moderate alcohol consumption can cause cancer of the liver, larynx, colon, rectum, breast, mouth and throat. The research also appeared to show evidence suggesting the damage might be reversible when people stop drinking.
Each year, alcohol is estimated to cause about half a million cancer deaths each year. While most of these are associated with heavy drinkers, experts are quick to point out that even low to moderate drinkers are at risk.
Easily able to enter cells, alcohol is ultimately converted to acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen that damages DNA. With this in mind, experts say that any alcohol consumption effectively increases cancer risk.
For years, experts have encouraged moderate alcohol consumption. Based on this study and others like it, they now recommend a two-drink daily limit for men and a one-drink daily limit for women.
What About Heart Disease?
Other studies have shown a link between moderate alcohol consumption and a decreased risk of heart disease. While this research may very well be accurate, health experts say the potential benefits of alcohol consumption aren’t compelling enough to recommend that non-drinkers begin drinking alcohol.
What Should I Do?
Unfortunately, studies now suggest that any alcohol consumption brings potential health risks. That said, you can reduce your risk by limiting your consumption. If you drink regularly, consider moderating your alcohol intake to help lower your risk of cancer and other deadly health problems.