Alcohol Consumption Increases Your Risk for Cancer

02/19/2013

Too much alcohol is a bad thing -- it hurts everything from your waistline to your liver. Now, there's a new reason to lay off the booze. A recent study by the Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public Health found that alcohol consumption can increase one’s risk for cancer, in particular, breast cancer among women.

And if you’re that one-glass-of-red-wine-a-day kind of gal, don’t be fooled – it’s affecting you too.

According to the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, 1.5 drinks a day or less accounts for 30 percent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.

Photo Credit: Paul G
You may be surprised by what you body finds the most toxic...

Over 1,600,000 Americans die annually from cancer according to the CDC. Of those, there are roughly 20,000 alcohol-related cancer deaths annually. Countries similar to the U.S., like the UK are experiencing similar losses (about 12,500 per year).

Alcohol-related deaths were more common in specific types of cancer, namely breast cancer for women and esophageal cancers for men. Anywhere between 56-66 percent of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths were from breast cancer and 53-71 percent from esophageal and upper respiratory cancer.

If you have history of these cancers in your family, it might be a good idea to curtail your cocktails.

Unfair Labeling

Some people are so outraged by this unnecessary loss of life that they are fighting to have alcohol companies include labels on their products that indicate their consumption could cause cancer.

Professor Mark Bellis who is the director of the center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University is among these experts, saying that it is wrong to allow people to buy these products without giving them the proper information.

Those in agreement with Bellis think that alcohol labels should directly say something about the health risks surrounding cancer.

And they may not be all that out there – the World Health Organization (WHO) classified alcohol as one of the most carcinogenic substances all the back in 1988.

Drink Responsibly – seriously.

It’s hard to say there is any moral to this story. In some ways, consuming alcohol is one of America’s favorite pastimes. But the takeaway here is that just like chocolate, you shouldn't consume alcohol on a daily basis. Even one to two drinks per day could have harmful effects on your body and shave off approximately 18 years off your life.

Make the right decision and limit your alcohol intake. Your body will thank you later.

 

By: Jennifer Wolfe

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