ASCO: Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer

ASCO: Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer

On November 7, the nation's top oncologists released a statement through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to draw attention to the connection between alcohol and cancer risk.

Even those who drink moderately, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one daily drink for women and two for men, face almost a doubling of the risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, compared to nondrinkers.

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. "And if you don't drink, don't start, '" said the associate professor at the University Wisconsin-Madison. Approximately 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the US, that is about 19,500 deaths are alcohol related, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breast and colon cancers are among the biggest cancer-related killers in the country, claiming almost 95,000 American lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The more you drink, the higher your risk, leading the American Society Of Clinical Oncology to recommend cutting back on booze.




Although heavy, long-term, drinkers were found to have the greatest risks of developing cancer, even modest alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk, researchers said in the publication. All forms of alcohol; be it beer, wine, champagne or shots cause the same cancer risk.

Drinking - even small or moderate amounts - was especially closely associated with increased risks for esophogeal, mouth, liver, colorectal and breast cancers, and is responsible for more than five per cent of cancers and cancer deaths worldwide. Also saying, "It's different than tobacco where we say, 'Never smoke". This knowledge empowers doctors "to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer". The connection between rising alcohol intake and cancer has been substantially confirmed. "We don't have randomized trials, but sometimes when you start looking at the coherence of all the evidence, including the observational epidemiology, the lab studies, the mechanistic studies, you begin to see a picture and get more clarity".

With liver cancer, alcohol leads to cirrhosis and cirrhosis, in turn, leads to cancer, but it's not always such a clear chain reaction.

"The evidence is very clear", she said.

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