Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

Ellen Mills
November 9, 2017

Doctors at the American Society of Clinical Oncology have linked both light and heavy drinking to a number of cancers, including breast, esophagus, liver, larynx, colon, head and neck.

"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.

"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", he said in a society news release. "And if you don't drink, don't start, '" Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement, said to The New York Times.

For its research, ASCO reviewed earlier studied and made the conclusion that 5.5% of all of the new cancers as well as 5.8% of cancer deaths around the world could be attributed to alcohol. 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).

Those that are heavy drinkers face far higher risks of throat and mouth cancer, voice box cancer, liver cancer and to some extent, the colorectal cancers, cautioned the group.

People who engage in moderate to heavy drinking are at greater risk, and some studies have shown some potential benefits of an occasional drink.

The doctors' group that published the statement hopes there's a new public push to downsize the advertising of alcohol to minors and even new taxes on booze. Also saying, "It's different than tobacco where we say, 'Never smoke".

"Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer", she added.

One way to reduce cancer risk is to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed. "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".

The report said that there is also now enough evidence to suggest that alcohol is a probably cause of pancreatic, stomach and other cancers.

"That puts some weight behind this", she said.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER