Doctors link alcohol consumption to several cancers

Doctors link alcohol consumption to several cancers

Doctors link alcohol consumption to several cancers

In a statement released Tuesday, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) outlined research tying alcohol to two types of cancer and told Americans to drink less.

"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 researchers also stated that if the drinker ceases consuming alcohol for 20 years or more, the possibility of cancer regresses back to that of non-drinkers.

"If you don't drink, there's no reason to start".

In the USA, it is estimated that 3.5 per cent of all cancer deaths are linked to alcohol, and in 2012, 5.5 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses and 5.8 per cent of deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol consumption. Fewer than one in three adults identified alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.

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Researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, state that alcohol is causally associated with oropharyngeal and larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), breast and colon cancer. The statement cited an increase in the risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx and the liver, with a slightly lower increased risk for colorectal and pancreatic cancer.

If you are a moderate drinker, this doesn't mean you have to completely swear off the stuff.

Heavy alcohol use could increase the risk of cancer, pictured is a customer drinking an IPA beer at a brewery February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California.

There has been some debate over whether alcohol itself, or other elements come the compositions of various alcoholic beverages are cancer-causing. 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". "However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established and gives the medical community guidance on how to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer". 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.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said. "It's different than tobacco where we say, 'Never smoke".

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