Alcohol linked to several major cancers by American Society of Clinical Oncology

Alcohol linked to several major cancers by American Society of Clinical Oncology

"The risk for breast cancer increases with even one drink a day", said Dr. Noelle LoConte, an oncologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Whether consumption is light, moderate, or heavy, alcohol causes cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck, the authors reported.

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

"I think the take-home message from the statement is that the really high-risk people are very high drinkers - over a prolonged period of time", LoConte said. Indeed, a recent survey from the organization found that 70 percent of Americans didn't know that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for cancer.

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology has raised the red flag, warning that the public is lacking education and understanding of the serious health risks of light to moderate drinking.

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. Overdoing it may lead to cancer.

"We chose to push this out because.we were looking over our portfolio of various statements on primary prevention of cancer and we realized that we did not have a statement on alcohol", Noelle LoConte, a representative of ASCO, told International Business Times Tuesday.

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The 11-page ASCO statement on alcohol and cancer says that "associations between alcohol drinking and cancer risk have been observed consistently regardless of the specific type of alcoholic beverages", meaning the link between alcohol and certain cancers was not specific to consumption of just beer, wine, or other types of liquor. He said he hopes that this knowledge empowers doctors "to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer".

"We are seeing some very alarming trends in alcohol overconsumption, especially among women", Dr. Ali Mokdad, the author of a separate alcohol usage study, said in a 2015 news release.

The researchers add that the benefits of alcohol - especially the widely held belief that red wine improves cardiovascular health - has likely been overstated and doctors should not recommend alcohol consumption to prevent cardiovascular disease. "It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.

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