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alcohol and cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents many of the nation’s top cancer doctors, is calling attention to the ties between alcohol and cancer. In a statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the group cites evidence that even light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer.

Alcohol drinking is an established risk factor for several malignancies, and it is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer. The Cancer Prevention Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention. In addition, the role of alcohol drinking on outcomes in patients with cancer is in its formative stages, and ASCO can play a key role by generating a research agenda. Also, ASCO could provide needed leadership in the cancer community on this issue. In the issuance of this statement, ASCO joins a growing number of international organizations by establishing a platform to support effective public health strategies in this area. The goals of this statement are to:

• Promote public education about the risks between alcohol abuse and certain types of cancer;

• Support policy efforts to reduce the risk of cancer through evidence-based strategies that prevent excessive use of alcohol;

• Provide education to oncology providers about the influence of excessive alcohol use and cancer risks and treatment complications, including clarification of conflicting evidence; and

• Identify areas of needed research regarding the relationship between alcohol use and cancer risk and outcomes.

Read the full statement HERE

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The alcohol industry (AI) is misrepresenting evidence about the alcohol-related risk of cancer with activities that have parallels with those of the tobacco industry, according to new research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, the team analysed the information relating to cancer which appears on the websites and documents of nearly 30 alcohol industry organisations around the world between September 2016 and December 2016. Most of the organisational websites (24/26) showed some sort of distortion or misrepresentation of the evidence about alcohol-related cancer risk, with breast and colorectal cancers being the most common focus of misrepresentation.

The most common approach involves presenting the relationship between alcohol and cancer as highly complex, with the implication or statement that there is no evidence of a consistent or independent link. Others include denying that any relationship exists or claiming inaccurately that there is no risk for light or ‘moderate’ drinking, as well discussing a wide range of real and potential risk factors, thus presenting alcohol as just one risk among many.

According to the study, the researchers say policymakers and public health bodies should reconsider their relationships to these alcohol industry bodies, as the industry is involved in developing alcohol policy in many countries, and disseminates health information to the public.

Alcohol consumption is a well-established risk factor for a range of cancers, including oral cavity, liver, breast and colorectal cancers, and accounts for about 4% of new cancer cases annually in the UK. There is limited evidence that alcohol consumption protects against some cancers, such as renal and ovary cancers, but in 2016 the UK’s Committee on Carcinogenicity concluded that the evidence is inconsistent, and the increased risk of other cancers as a result of drinking alcohol far outweighs any possible decreased risk.

This new study analysed the information which is disseminated by 27 AI-funded organisations, most commonly ‘social aspects and public relations organisations’ (SAPROs), and similar bodies. The researchers aimed to determine the extent to which the alcohol industry fully and accurately communicates the scientific evidence on alcohol and cancer to consumers. They analysed information on cancer and alcohol consumption disseminated by alcohol industry bodies and related organisations from English speaking countries, or where the information was available in English.

Through qualitative analysis of this information they identified three main industry strategies. Denying, or disputing any link with cancer, or selective omission of the relationship, Distortion: mentioning some risk of cancer, but misrepresenting or obfuscating the nature or size of that risk and Distraction: focussing discussion away from the independent effects of alcohol on common cancers.

Read further from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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In a recent analysis of published studies, higher alcohol intake was linked with an increased risk of both basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers.

For every 10 gram increase in alcohol intake per day, risk of basal cell carcinoma increased by 7% and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by 11%.

“This is an important finding given that there are few ways to prevent skin cancer,” said Dr. Eunyoung Cho, senior author of the British Journal of Dermatology analysis.

Link to Study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.15647/full

About Journal

The British Journal of Dermatology (BJD) strives to publish the highest quality dermatological research. In so doing, the journal aims to advance understanding, management and treatment of skin disease and improve patient outcomes.

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By Irish Cancer Society

Alcohol is a known cause of 8 types of cancer. Every year approximately 900 new cancers and 500 cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol in Ireland.

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Citizens across the EU are consuming an average of 2 alcoholic drinks per day, placing drinkers at a 21% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, in addition to other digestive cancers, a report finds.

The report, launched today by United European Gastroenterology, revealed that the average daily intake of alcoholic drinks was ‘moderate’ (between 1 and 4 drinks per day) in all 28 EU states, placing these citizens at a heightened risk of both colorectal and oesophageal cancer.

‘Heavy’ drinkers (people that consume more than 4 drinks per day) were found to be at an increased risk of pancreatic, liver and gastric cancer. These three cancers, coupled with colorectal and oesophageal cancer, are the five most common digestive cancers worldwide, causing almost three million deaths per year and contributing to over a third of global cancer deaths.

No countries within the EU were found to have ‘light’ alcohol consumption (on average, less than 1 alcoholic drink per day per capita).

The European Alcohol Endemic

Alcohol consumption across the European region is higher than in any other region in the world, with over one fifth of the European population over the age of 15 drinking heavily at least once a week. As a result, the continent suffers from the highest proportion of ill health and premature death directly linked to alcohol.

Despite high levels of consumption throughout Europe, research shows that as many as 90% of people are unaware on the link between alcohol and cancer.

In light of these alarming statistics, tackling the harmful use of alcohol is a main priority for the upcoming Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

How to Tackle Europe’s Alcohol Crisis

Consumers are provided with mixed-messages on recommended units, glasses and volumes of alcohol. UEG are therefore calling for a pan-European approach to the provision of clear and consistent information about the health risks of drinking alcohol to help eradicate confusion on appropriate levels of consumption.

Professor Markus Peck, leading digestive health expert, comments; “One of the main challenges in addressing high drinking levels is how deeply embedded alcohol consumption is within the European society, both socially and culturally. Political action like minimum pricing and reducing access to alcohol needs to be taken now to prevent many future casualties. Research then has to follow to help generate data and allow us to fine-tune future political activity”.

Increased pressure on the alcohol industry to develop clear and responsible labelling, together with a tightening of regulations on the marketing of alcohol, are other important steps outlined within the report to help tackle the crisis. France is a country leading the way in this regard, where stricter marketing, coupled with regulations for drinking at work, has contributed to a decline in alcohol consumption and digestive cancer incidence as a result.

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Alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in a large study of African-American women, indicating that they, like white women, may benefit from limiting alcohol.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Author: Melissa A. Troester, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina.

Background: Alcohol is an established risk factor for breast cancer; however, most studies have been conducted in predominantly white populations. The researchers wanted to discern whether alcohol raises risk for African-American women by assessing participants in a large study that solely enrolled African-American women.

How the Study Was Conducted and Results: Troester and colleagues enrolled 22,338 women from the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk (AMBER) Consortium, which encompasses four large epidemiologic studies of breast cancer. Study participants reported their alcohol intake via a questionnaire, and researchers used logistic regression to estimate the association between alcohol consumption and cases of breast cancer.

The study showed that women who drank seven or more drinks per week showed an increased risk of almost all subtypes. Women who drank 14 or more alcoholic beverages per week were 33 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who consumed four or fewer drinks per week.

Overall, Troester said, black women drink less alcohol than white women, with previous research suggesting a range of reasons from religious restrictions to health restrictions. In this study, 45 percent of the women were “never drinkers,” and researchers found that the “never drinkers” were more likely to develop breast cancer than the light drinkers. Troester said that they did not identify the causes for increased risk in never drinkers, but previous studies finding similar elevated risk in never drinkers implicate the comorbidities, such as diabetes, that influenced them to avoid alcohol.

Author Comment: Troester said the results of this study indicate that the same risk factors that have been documented in previous research apply to black women as well.

“Alcohol is an important modifiable exposure, whereas many other risk factors are not,” she said. “Women who are concerned about their risk of breast cancer could consider reducing levels of exposure.”

Troester said that further research would be necessary to determine which breast cancer risk factors–weight, reproductive history, oral contraceptive use, family history, etc.–apply most significantly to each race. “Understanding the impact of these various risk factors could help narrow the disparity in breast cancer incidence and mortality,” she said.

Limitations: Troester said a limitation of the study is that it included relatively few women who drank heavily, making those findings less statistically significant. However, she said this study’s results are consistent with previous research indicating increased risk for the highest levels of alcohol consumption.

Funding & Disclosures: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Komen for the Cure Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the University Cancer Research Fund of North Carolina. Troester declares no conflicts of interest.

Source: Cancer Research Catalyst http://blog.aacr.org; Twitter @AACR; and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aacr.org

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Source: BLVD Treatment Centers
alcohol-and-cancer-infographic-e1491865432207 (1)

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Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Meschino explains why alcohol consumption actually increases your risk of prostate cancer.

Visit www.meschinohealth.com to get the FREE download containing natural remedies for Prostate Enlargement (BPH), Prostatitis & Prostate Cancer Prevention.

 

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New research from UCC and Breakthrough Cancer Research highlights common cancer myths amongst Irish men.

Research released today confirms that many men in Ireland are still unaware of common cancer risks, wrongly believing that the disease can be caused by laptops, injury and tight underwear.

The survey, carried out by researchers at University College Cork (UCC) in association with Breakthrough Cancer Research (Breakthrough), investigated the level of understanding of cancer risk factors amongst Irish males (1). The results of the research have been announced as part of Breakthrough’s #MySmallChange campaign.

Dr Ryan, Dietitian and Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences in University College Cork and co-author of the research states: “Worryingly Irish men still seem to underestimate alcohol as a risk factor in developing cancer, with 66% incorrectly believing that red wine protects against cancer. At a time when the World Cancer Research Fund has warned that the claimed benefits of drinking red wine for heart health are less than previously thought and are outweighed by the harmful effect alcohol has on cancer risk, it is important that we understand the role alcohol plays in increasing our cancer risk.”

Read more: Breakthrough Cancer Research

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Report published in December 2016 by The Swedish Society of Medicine, IOGT-NTO and CERA (Gothenburg University).
“Healthy living and lifestyles are a strong trend in Sweden, but no other EU nationality knows less about or is less aware of the link between alcohol and cancer. And given that alcohol is the second most common contributory factor in terms of the global cancer burden, according to the World Health Organisation, this is something we are keen to change. Which is why we hope that this report can help boost knowledge levels and awareness, and increase interest
in the issue, both in the health care sector and in society as a whole,” write publishers in the foreword of the report.
Find the English version of the report HERE

Seminar that took place at the launch of the report

Seminarium Alkohol och Cancer på Svenska Läkarsällskapet from alkoholhjalpen on Vimeo.

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