emfizz.com November 23, 2017

Even light drinking may raise cancer risk, doctors warn

09 November 2017, 12:39 | Todd Saunders

Report: Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer

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. For example, discouraging alcoholic beverage companies from exploiting the color pink or pink ribbons to show a commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer given the evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Yet few adults, when asked, identify alcohol consumption as a risk factor for cancer, even though the vast majority were familiar with other cancer risk factors, like smoking and sun exposure, a recent ASCO survey of 4,016 adults found. Breast and colon cancers are among the biggest cancer-related killers in the country, claiming almost 95,000 American lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). "If you don't drink, don't start". Heavy drinking also more than doubles the chance of getting liver and voice box cancer.

The new review of past studies on the link between alcohol and cancer, published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that approximately 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the USA can be attributed to alcohol consumption.

"It's sort of like selling cigarettes to raise awareness for lung cancer", LoConte said. He said he hopes that this knowledge empowers doctors "to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer".

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).

"If you drink, try to keep it under the (moderate) amount", said Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor of medicine at UW-Madison and lead author of the report, published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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The group warns that heavy drinkers have an increased risk of developing liver cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, colorectal cancers and cancer of the voicebox.

Seventy percent of Americans surveyed in this year's National Cancer Opinion Survey were unaware that alcohol is a well-established and modifiable risk factor for cancer, the authors noted.

"If you drink more, drinking less will definitely reduce your risk", she says. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer".

You can also do certain things to decrease your cancer risk, like getting more exercise.

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

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