Alcohol, of course, can create a major litany of problems, and now a new study is examining its link to cancer.
Time reports that drinking could link to “at least seven types of cancer,” including mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, breast and colon cancer. This report states that 5.5% of newly reported cancer cases can indeed be linked back to drinking.
These statistics were put together by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and this is the first time the organization, which includes some of the best cancer doctors in the country, have spoken out about the link between alcohol and cancer. As one oncologist told Time, “Although this association has been established for a long time, most oncologists and most laypeople and most cancer patients are not aware of the risk. This was an opportunity for us to raise awareness.”
The ASCO has also called for a strike against alcohol companies, similar to how tobacco companies have been hit. Time reports that ASCO would like to see “regulating [the] density of liquor stores and bars in a given area, increasing alcohol taxes and prices, strengthening underage drinking laws, limiting youth exposure to alcohol advertising,” and more potential initiatives.
As Men’s Health reports, there’s stronger cancer risk for moderate and heavy drinking, but “even light drinking can be dangerous too” with the risk of cancer. Back in 2007, the International Agency for Cancer Research called alcohol a carcinogen, and as Men’s Health continues, “This can possibly be attributed to how alcohol is broken down in your body. When your body metabolizes alcohol, it produces a byproduct called acetaldehyde [which] can mess with your DNA, possibly upping your risk by triggering cancer-causing mutations.”