Consuming alcoholic beverages, even in moderation, may increase your risk of developing certain cancers, according to a new statement released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). People who drink more than four alcoholic drinks a day have five times the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, five times the risk of esophageal cancer and two times the risk of liver cancer, compared with those who don't drink. "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".
Doctors said the way to lessen the risk is to drink less or don't start if you do not drink already.
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. Indeed, a recent survey from the organization found that 70 percent of Americans didn't know that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for cancer. The ASCO report puts that debate to bed: "The answer is that associations between alcohol drinking and cancer risk have been observed consistently regardless of the specific type of alcoholic beverage", it says. If you do drink, there's no reason to increase. 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. 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".
"If you look at these figures, you see alcohol is a contributing factor; certainly it has a causal role", Dr. Hudis said.
"We're supporting policy strategies like limiting youth access to alcohol, limiting hours of sale, limiting locations of sale, raising the cost of alcohol", she said.
"The evidence is very clear", she said.
"With colon cancer, alcohol seems to interfere with the way folate is absorbed, which is a known precursor in the path to developing cancer in the colon", LoConte said to CTV News.
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