You wouldn’t think to use the worlds cancer and alcohol in the same sentence, but it seems like just about anything these days can be a cause of cancer risks. From the foods we eat, environment we live in, and the obvious things like smoking that contribute to higher risks. It seems like one area that has been a discussion, but long overlooked has been the issue of alcohol consumption and its relation to cancer. Studies and discussions on alcohol and cancer have been around for over 30 years, and a majority of them dismissed due to the lack of research and unknown test results.
In the past few years, the talks on cancer and alcohol releated deaths has been on the rise. In 2009, it was shown that 18,000 to 21,000 people died of alcohol related cancers. Some of these cancers include liver cancer, larynx cancer, esophagus cancer, colon cancer, rectum and breast cancer among women. Alcohol related breast cancer deaths accounted for 15% of total breast cancer deaths.
Though the reasons are still quite unclear on how and why alcohol raises the risks of cancer, many of the studies have shown that alcohol does affect estrogen levels in women, and acts as a solvent for tobacco, making it easier for tobacco to get into the digestive tract. Alcohol accounts for roughly 3.5% of all U.S. cancer deaths annually. A majority of these deaths come from people who consumed more that 3 beverages a day, while 1/3 of the deaths come from people who consumed 1.5 beverages a day.
It is quite alarming to hear the connection of cancer and alcohol, but many experts are quick to say that it is not always about the amount of alcohol, rather the way it is consumed. People who tend to have a drink here and there seem to have a much lower risk than the person who consumes the alcohol at a much faster rate, or binge drinks.
Just like anything else in life, moderation seems to be key. There are risks to anything we do, and abusing anything can bring risks that will affect us in the long run. Reduce the risks, live a healthier lifestyle, and be as moderate as possible. Eat healthier, stop smoking (use great products like Chantix), and make sure to do things that make you appreciate your moments, not worry about the future.