Did you know that the less alcohol you consume, the lower is the risk of developing cancer? It doesn’t matter what kind of alcohol you drink, the main point it that it leads to damage. However, not everyone who consumes alcohol will develop cancer. In fact, according to scientists, some cancers are more common in people who drink more alcohol than others.
How does alcohol increase the risk of cancer?
According to extensive research studies, there is a strong connection between alcohol drinking and several types of cancer. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer. So, based on data from 2009, an estimated 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol related.
Alcoholic drinks break down ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen. Moreover, it can damage the DNA and proteins. Additionally, alcohol impairs the body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients. This can also be linked to cancer risk. Alcohol consumption increases blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone linked to the risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, alcoholic drinks contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants, such as which asbestos fibers, phenols, nitrosamines, and hydrocarbons, which are introduced during fermentation and production.
Cancer Types Caused by Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption may lead to the development of the following types of cancer:
Alcohol consumption seems to be a major risk factor for a particular type of esophageal cancer, known as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Head and Neck Cancer
Certain head and neck cancer may be triggered by alcohol consumption. In particular, cancers of the oral cavity (excluding the lips), pharynx (throat), and larynx (voice box). People who consume more than 50 grams of alcohol per day are at greater risk of developing some of these cancers. Moreover, the risk is even greater for people who combine alcohol and tobacco.
Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma can also be caused by alcohol consumption.
There are about 100 epidemiologic studies, which have found the connection between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer in women. Hence, women who drink more than 45 grams of alcohol per day have the risk of developing breast cancer. Moreover, according to a study conducted by the Million Women Study in the United Kingdom, every 10 grams of alcohol consumed per day was associated with a 12 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer.
The risk of colon and rectum cancer is increased by alcohol consumption. In fact, people who consumed 50 or more grams of alcohol per day have a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer.