Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer — ASCO

Nov 09, 2017, 00:37
Alcohol Linked to Several Types of Cancer — ASCO

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the largest known organization of oncologists, released a statement Tuesday on the link between alcohol and cancer. Research highlighted by the National Cancer Institute suggests that the more alcohol you drink - particularly the more you drink regularly - the higher your risk of developing cancer.

Experts also found that drinking alcohol can have an adverse effect on treatment and outcomes for patients with cancer.

Although heavy, long-term, drinkers were found to have the greatest risks of developing cancer, even modest alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk, researchers said in the publication.

The group representing doctors has also called for new initiatives in public health to curb the use of alcohol from restrictions on ads that target minors to taxes.

In addition, researchers said that in 2012, approximately 5.5 percent of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths globally could be attributed to drinking alcohol. "We don't have randomized trials, but sometimes when you start looking at the coherence of all the evidence, including the observational epidemiology, the lab studies, the mechanistic studies, you begin to see a picture and get more clarity".

In the US, it is estimated that 3.5 per cent of all cancer deaths are linked to alcohol, and in 2012, 5.5 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses and 5.8 per cent of deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol consumption.

The society also level charges against alcohol companies for "pinkwashing", or "exploiting the color pink or pink ribbons to show commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer given the evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to an increase risk of breast cancer".

The CDC recommends that women have no more than one drink a day or eight drinks a week. Dr. Noelle K. LoConte of the University of Wisconsin added that "even moderate alcohol use can cause cancer".

Since, heavy consumers of alcohol meet much higher risk throat and mouth cancer, liver cancer, cancer of the voice box and to the lower scale, colorectal cancers. Oncologists have the ability to identify strategies to help patients reduce their alcohol intake; address racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation disparities that may place these populations at increased cancer risk; and serve as community advisors and leaders to raise awareness of alcohol as a cancer risk behavior.

"What we are learning more about is what exactly the risk is", LoConte said.