Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

09 November, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Garry Little
  • ASCO: Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer

The ASCO statement also suggests that while the greater risks are seen with heavy long-term use, even low alcohol consumption or moderate consumption can increase cancer risk. There's been a lot of talk touting certain alcohols, such as red wine, as cancer-fighting elixirs and superfoods - but these medical professionals reveal a bleak, risky reality of drinking.

The latest study conducted by the group of researchers from ASCO has found links between drinking alcohol and risks for several types of cancer like esophogeal, mouth, liver, colorectal and breast cancers.

Released Oct. 24, the National Cancer Opinion Survey discovered that just 38 percent of Americans were making the effort to limit their alcohol consumption as a means of reducing risks for cancer.

The doctors' group is also calling for new public health initiatives to curb alcohol use, from taxes to restrictions on ads targeting minors, like the new ban on alcohol advertising on New York City's subways and buses slated to go into effect in January.

"If you don't drink, don't start", says Dr LoConte, and "if you do drink try to stay under the recommendations of 1 or less per day for women and 2 or less per day for men".

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The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer.

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).

"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.

"ASCO believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention", the statement, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, said. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer". All forms of alcohol; be it beer, wine, champagne or shots cause the same cancer risk.

Dr. Anne McTiernan, a scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who was an author of one of the earlier reports on alcohol and breast cancer, said she was pleased that oncologists were focusing on alcohol. "It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.

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