Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

Ronald Pratt
November 9, 2017

The authors also called for enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting alcohol sales to minors, and restrictions to young people's exposure to alcohol advertising.

The new review of past studies on the link between alcohol and cancer, published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that approximately 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the US can be attributed to alcohol consumption. The paper stated clearly that alcohol plays a causal role in cancers of the throat and neck, voice box, liver and colon, as well as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and, in women, breast cancer.

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

Heavy drinking greatly increases the risk of some cancers, and even moderate drinking boosts the risk of breast and colon cancer, says a report by a national cancer doctor group whose lead author is a UW Health oncologist.

"People don't typically associate drinking beer, wine, and hard liquor with increasing their risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes", said ASCO President Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO, in the statement. "It's a pretty linear dose-response". "And in female breast cancer, (alcohol) affects the levels of female hormones in the body, and by adjusting the levels of estrogen in particular, it increases risk of breast cancer".

Light drinking increases your risk of head and neck cancers by 13 per cent, while heavy drinking increases risk by over 500 per cent.

Qatar Airways buys near 10% Cathay Pacific stake
Cathay shares fell 3.9 percent by mid-morning in Hong Kong, to HK$12.68. It added that Qatar's purchase displays confidence in Cathay's future.

Ashton said that moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to an average of one drink a day for women (or seven drinks per week) and two drinks a day for men (or 14 drinks a week).

ABC News' chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said that alcohol has been a known human carcinogen, or known to cause cancer, for a long time within the medical community.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said.

However, a recent ASCO survey found that 7 out of 10 Americans are unaware of a link between alcohol and cancer.

"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. The formation of acetaldehyde starts when alcohol comes in contact with bacteria in the mouth, which may explain the link between alcohol and cancers of the throat, voice box and esophagus, she suggested.