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Alcohol Risk Cited by Cancer Doctors

09 November 2017, 01:24 | Lucy Hill

Report: Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer

ASCO: Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer

Maybe you should skip that glass of wine tonight, because even light drinking increases your risk of cancer, warns a new statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Even those who drink moderately, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one daily drink for women and two for men, face almost a doubling of the risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, compared to nondrinkers.

ASCO cited a review that found "the evidence to be convincing" that alcohol consumption is not just linked to but is a cause of mouth, throat, voice box, colorectal, liver and breast cancer. "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.

Alcohol is directly responsible for 5 to 6 percent of new cancers and cancer deaths worldwide, according to the statement.

Alcohol is not the only important factor to consider when trying to reduce your cancer risk - your genes, exercise regimen, and exposure to pollutants can play a role, too.

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology has raised the red flag, warning that the public is lacking education and understanding of the serious health risks of light to moderate drinking. Heavy drinkers face roughly five times the risk of mouth and throat cancers and squamous cell esophageal cancers than nondrinkers, almost three times the risk of cancers of the voice box or larynx, double the risk of liver cancer, as well as increased risks for female breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Ashton adds that if you pour more than these standard serving sizes, it counts for more than one 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".

There has been some debate over whether alcohol itself, or other elements come the compositions of various alcoholic beverages are cancer-causing.

It "shows they're serious about it and willing to put their name on the line for changes in policy, and willing to say that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risks of some cancers to a small degree". "We also can't ignore the fact that in many USA counties a quarter of the people, or more, are binge drinkers".

"The evidence is very clear", she said. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer".



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