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Alcohol: Major contributor to cancer mortality

Alcohol: Major contributor to cancer mortality

May 05 | By Rachael

Many researchers have highlighted based on a growing number of evidences that there is a direct association between cancer and alcohol consumption. In fact, it is a matter of concern to note that the consumption of even low to moderate amounts of alcohol increases the risk of cancer. According to the Report on Carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the consumption of alcoholic drinks is defined as a human carcinogen. The risks of alcohol-related cancers rise depending on how much an individual drinks alcohol routinely.

According to a study, published in 2013 in the American Journal of Public Health, it is speculated that 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths were related to alcohol in the U.S. However, various studies on the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing other cancers, such as prostate, ovary, uterus, bladder, stomach and pancreas cancer, did not find any substantial evidence of increase in the risk of such cancers.

Interestingly, in case of two cancers, including renal cell cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), an altogether opposite relationship has been found with alcohol. A meta-analysis on alcohol drinking and the risk of NHL, including 18,759 participants with NHL and published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2012, discovered that people who drink alcohol had a 15 percent lower risk of developing NHL compared to nondrinkers.

Cancers associated with alcohol consumption

  • Head and neck cancer: Individuals who drink 50 grams or more alcohol per day have at least two to three times increased risk of developing head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx. The risk of developing such types of cancer significantly increases among individuals who consume over 3.5 drinks along with smoking tobacco.
  • Esophageal cancer: Alcohol is a major risk factor for a specific type of esophageal cancer known as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The risk of developing this type of cancer is substantially higher among those with a deficiency of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol.
  • Liver cancer: Liver plays a significant role in breaking down alcohol, but in the process it releases chemicals that damages the liver. Alcohol can also damage the intestines that allows the gut bacteria to flow into liver causing scarring and inflammation.
  • Breast cancer: A collaborative reanalysis of 53 epidemiological studies, comprising 58,515 women with breast cancer and published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2002, found that women who consumed over 45 grams of alcohol per day had 1.5 increased risk of developing breast cancers compared to nondrinkers. For every 10 grams of alcohol consumed per day, researchers observed a 7 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer: A meta-analysis of 57 studies, titled “Alcohol drinking and colorectal cancer risk – An overall and dose-response meta-analysis of published studies” and published in the Annals of Oncology in 2011, found that individuals who frequently drank 50 or more grams of alcohol per day had 1.5 times the risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to occasional drinkers or nondrinkers. As in the case of breast cancer, there was a 7 percent increased risk of developing colorectal cancer due to the consumption of every 10 grams of alcohol.

Live a sober and fulfilling life

Besides causing cancer, alcoholism has the potential to severely affect both mental and physical health. Due to the impacts of alcohol drinking, people are also likely to witness major problems at both work and life. Therefore, it is essential to seek treatment to ensure recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, it is imperative that you seek professional help. Alcohol has the potential to rewire the brain and causes cognitive impairment, memory loss and decreases coordination. The Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help offers a variety of evidence-based plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-592-9261 to avail the best alcohol treatment in Colorado. You can also chat online with medical advisers to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment in Colorado.