Studies find that drinking can increase chances of getting cancer

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.

Even when consumed in moderation, alcohol is a "definite risk factor" for cancer, according to a special report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He said he hopes that this knowledge empowers doctors "to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer". The group likewise opposes "pink washing", in which alcohol companies drape their products in pink ribbon to enhance sales, a practice it opposes "given the consistent evidence that shows the link between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer".

In addition to increasing risk factors for certain types of cancer, the ASCO review also found that drinking alcohol can have an adverse effect on treatment and outcomes for patients with cancer.

"The most recent data that I have seen estimated that this was 18,200-21,300 alcohol related deaths in the USA in 2009", says study co-author Noelle LoConte, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

"I think the take-home message from the statement is that the really high-risk people are very high drinkers - over a prolonged period of time", LoConte said. Heavy drinking also more than doubles the chance of getting liver and voice box cancer. Ashton adds that if you pour more than these standard serving sizes, it counts for more than one drink.

"It's sort of like selling cigarettes to raise awareness for lung cancer", LoConte said. She's an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin. Alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of several cancers, including head and neck, esophageal, liver, colorectal and female breast cancers.

Alcohol causes damage in different ways.

"The evidence is very clear", she said.

While the ASCO does suggest strategies for cutting back on drinking, it also advocates for temperate use of alcohol, rather than recommending giving up drinking altogether.

"If you drink more, drinking less will definitely reduce your risk", she says.

The biggest risks were seen in people who were classified as heavy drinkers (four or more drinks for women, five or more drinks for men in one occasion) or moderate drinkers (one drink for women and two drinks for men per day).

  • Santos West