The Link Between Cancer and Alcohol

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By Mercedes Leguizamon

Thinking of opening up a bottle of wine to have with dinner? Planning to go out for a few drinks after work? You might want to reconsider. The American Society of Clinic Oncology stated that alcohol drinking, even light drinking, can increase your risk of cancer.

Consuming alcohol has been linked with cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon and breast but exactly how alcohol affects your risk is still misunderstood. In the statement published earlier this month, the ASCO said that understanding this is still in its formative stages. But what we do know is that it may increase the chances of pancreas and stomach cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Alcohol-related cancers are estimated to be 5.5 percent of all cancers treated annually and 3.5 percent of cancer deaths are attributed to alcohol consumption. They found that for liver cancer, heavy drinkers have 2.07 percent more risk of cancer than the non-drinker.

The aim of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s statement is not necessarily to prevent alcohol use altogether, but rather to prevent excessive alcohol use and bring to light the risks associated with consuming alcohol. The American Cancer Society suggests that anyone who drinks alcohol limit the intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.