Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Alcohol increases cancer risk, says report led by UW doctor

ASCO: Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer Report: Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer
Sammy Stanley | 09 November, 2017, 00:37

This quote comes from Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is the lead author of a statement recently put together by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in the Journal of Clinical Oncology about the ties between alcohol and the risks of cancer. Dr. Bruce Johnson, president of the ASCO, an organization of cancer doctors, said in a statement that People habitually do not relate to drinking, wine and hard liquor with rising risk of developing cancer in their lifespan.

The opinion of the medical community is that drinking alcohol increases the risk for cancer, but at least 70 percent of American's don't believe their drinking has an effect on their long-term health, particularly their risk for at least five specific cancers. ASCO recently did a survey and they found out that a large majority of physicians and patients were not aware of the association - this is also an opportunity to spread awareness.

Alcohol, Dr LoConte says, "interferes with the absorption of folate, which is a critical step in the development of colon 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). She added that this can also cause confusion because of the various types of alcohol available. "If you don't drink, don't start".

The recent study also found, for example, that vigorous exercise was linked with a significant decrease in breast cancer risk.

Since then, she said, more and more evidence has accumulated tying alcohol to a broader group of cancers, including colorectal cancer and, in women, breast cancer. 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.

"The most recent data that I have seen estimated that this was 18,200-21,300 alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. in 2009", co-author Noelle LoConte, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health was quoted while talking about the same.

"For head and neck and esophageal cancers, alcohol's breakdown product (acetaldehyde, which is an established carcinogen) touches the tissues directly as one swallows an alcoholic drink and causes cancer", she wrote.

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