Alcohol consumption increases risk of seven types of cancer, claim doctors

Fans will be able to buy beer or wine at men's hockey games at St. Cloud State this year

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, an association that represents numerous top cancer doctors in the country, is bringing to the attention of medical world the links between cancer and alcohol.

The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer.

Those that are heavy drinkers face far higher risks of throat and mouth cancer, voice box cancer, liver cancer and to some extent, the colorectal cancers, cautioned the group. She added that this can also cause confusion because of the various types of alcohol available.

Drinking in general, as well as problem drinking and heavy drinking, are increasing in the USA and affect every segment of society, including older adults, women, ethnic and racial minorities, as well as the poor. "However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established and gives the medical community guidance on how to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer", said ASCO President Dr. Bruce Johnson in a statement. People who drink more than four alcoholic drinks a day have five times the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, five times the risk of esophageal cancer and two times the risk of liver cancer, compared with those who don't drink. The authors also called for enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting alcohol sales to minors, and restrictions to young people's exposure to alcohol advertising.

Released Oct. 24, the National Cancer Opinion Survey discovered that just 38 percent of Americans were making the effort to limit their alcohol consumption as a means of reducing risks for cancer.

Drinking is linked to 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the USA, which is about 21,000 Americans every year. The study's authors said their findings indicated "a public health crisis", especially with the increase in problem drinking among its more than 43,000 participants.

"The story of alcohol has been quite consistent and has been peeled away like an onion over time, and we're continuing to learn more about the mechanisms involved", Dr. Gapstur said. Overdoing it may lead to cancer.

"With colon cancer, alcohol seems to interfere with the way folate is absorbed, which is a known precursor in the path to developing cancer in the colon", LoConte said to CTV News.

"The evidence is very clear", she said.

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