Doctors link alcohol consumption to several cancers

The New York Times

That report analyzed 119 studies, including data on 12 million women and over a quarter of a million breast cancer cases, and concluded there was strong evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of both pre- and postmenopausal cancer, and that drinking a small glass of wine or beer every day - about 10 grams of alcohol - increases premenopausal breast cancer risk by 5 percent and postmenopausal risk by 9 percent.

Numerous studies have suggested a link between alcohol consumption and certain kinds of cancers.

The group representing doctors has also called for new initiatives in public health to curb the use of alcohol from restrictions on ads that target minors to taxes.

In addition, the paper clearly stated that alcohol has a casual role in cancers such as voice box, neck and throat, colon and liver, as well as breast cancer and esophageal cancer.

"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.

In the USA, it is estimated that 3.5 per cent of all cancer deaths are linked to alcohol, and in 2012, 5.5 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses and 5.8 per cent of deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol consumption.

ABC News' chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said that alcohol has been a known human carcinogen, or known to cause cancer, for a long time within the medical community.

The real concern is excessive and specifically binge drinking (which is defined as eight or more drinks per week or three or more drinks per day for women, or 15 or more drinks per week or four or more drinks a day for men).

"The more you drink, the higher the risk", said Dr. Clifford A. Hudis, the chief executive of ASCO.

The society also level charges against alcohol companies for "pinkwashing", or "exploiting the color pink or pink ribbons to show commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer given the evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to an increase risk of breast cancer".

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

The researchers add that the benefits of alcohol - especially the widely held belief that red wine improves cardiovascular health - has likely been overstated and doctors should not recommend alcohol consumption to prevent cardiovascular disease.

If people exercise, eat well and don't drink excessively, they shouldn't worry too much, said LoConte, who said she has about two drinks a month.

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