Many medical groups have pointed out the connection between cancer and consuming alcohol. But, for the first time the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is stepping forward releasing a statement that is shocking to many. ASCO is represented by many of the nation’s top cancer doctors. Going so far as to even release a statement that, “light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer”.
Heavy drinkers (including both men and women) have a higher risk of liver cancer, cancer of the voice-box, even mouth and throat cancer. Heavy drinking is on the rise in the United States and the problem effects every demographic. It does not matter if you are underage, a woman, poor, or an ethnic minority- if you drink you are increasing your risk. Many Americans do not even consider alcohol an increased risk factor for cancer, according to a recent ASCO survey including 4,016 adults. Consumers are uneducated about the facts even-though The Internal Agency for Researchon Cancer (IARC), which is a division of The World Health Organization, stated in 1987 that alcohol consumption is carcinogenic to humans. The IARC connected alcohol consumption with cancer to the voice-box, esophagus, throat and mouth. Then, more recently the IARC added cancers of the entire oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, female breast, colorectum, and liver.
Researchers for ASCO have found that 5.8% of all cancer deaths worldwide could be linked to alcohol consumption. According to Dr. Gapstur when alcohol is consumed the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde which causes mutation and changes to your DNA. This starts to happen when the alcohol makes contact with bacteria in our mouths. Which strongly supports why alcohol consumption is realted mostly to cancers of the mouth, throat, voice-box and esophagus. Doctors hope that since the IARC has brought attention to this link between alcohol consumption and multiple cancers, that it will help people become more aware and practice safer habits when it comes to drinking.
Curated article from The NY Times.