National Cancer Institute: Alcohol and cancer
There is no doubt that alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of at least seven types of cancer: mouth, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, colon (colon and rectum), breast. Drinking any amount of alcohol increases cancer risk - the more you drink, the higher the risk. Reducing consumption and, better, giving up alcohol altogether will help reduce the risk of cancer.
Alcohol of any kind increases the risk of cancer. The main types of alcoholic beverages are wine, beer, spirits, and any other drinks that contain alcohol increase the risk of cancer. Different alcoholic beverages differ in the composition of alcohol. Be aware that alcohol is a particularly high percentage in some spirits, and some beers have a much higher than average alcohol percentage.
There are several reasons why alcohol consumption affects the development of cancer. Different types of cancer are thought to be affected by alcohol in different ways:
• Ethanol and acetaldehyde: Alcohol (ethanol) in the body is converted to the chemical acetaldehyde. Both ethanol and acetaldehyde are carcinogens.
• Cirrhosis of the liver: Alcohol damages the liver cells, leading to cirrhosis of the liver. Against the background of cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer often develops.
• Hormones: Alcohol increases the levels of some hormones, such as estrogen. Against the background of persistently elevated estrogen levels, the risk of breast cancer increases.
The combination of smoking and alcohol consumption is particularly dangerous, and the risk of cancer is exceptionally high due to the effects of these harmonized risk factors. In the mouth, throat and larynx of alcohol users, it is much easier to absorb the carcinogens formed by smoking tobacco. This is why people whose tissues are damaged by smoking and drinking are at particularly high risk of cancer of the mouth, upper respiratory tract and oesophagus.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition: Drink less alcohol, cut your cancer risk
In cooperation with the Cancer Research UK the Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition published a leaflet titled "Drink less alcohol, cut your cancer risk".
View the full leaflet HERE in English and in Lithuanian.
Visit Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA) - pola.lt
Visit Cancer Research UK www.cancerresearchuk.org