Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

On November 7, the nation's top oncologists released a statement through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to draw attention to the connection between alcohol and cancer risk. As of 2009, excessive alcohol consumption was attributed to almost 3.5 percent of all cancer-related deaths.

"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".

The main concern for doctors are the binge drinkers: men who consume four or more drinks per day, and women who consume three or more drinks per day.

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Further researchers propounded in 2012 that almost 5.5 percent all novel cancer contingency and 5.8 percent of all cancer related demise worldwide could be assigned to consuming alcohol.

However, ASCO has not recommended people to give up drinking altogether and suggested several strategies for cutting back on drinking.

Alcohol is thought to increase the risk of head, neck, throat and voice box cancers because those tissues come into direct contact with alcohol when people drink, the oncology society said. Whether consumption is light, moderate, or heavy, alcohol causes cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck, the authors reported. Heavy drinking also more than doubles the chance of getting liver and voice box cancer.

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You can also do certain things to decrease your cancer risk, like getting more exercise. "We don't have randomized trials, but sometimes when you start looking at the coherence of all the evidence, including the observational epidemiology, the lab studies, the mechanistic studies, you begin to see a picture and get more clarity".

"We made a decision to push this out because.we were looking over our portfolio of various statements on primary prevention of cancer and we realized that we did not have a statement on alcohol", Noelle LoConte, a representative of ASCO, told International Business Times Tuesday.

Many people may not recognize the link between alcohol and cancer, Ashton said, and thus may be missing out on an opportunity to lower cancer risk factors. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer". Since there's evidence linking breast cancer to drinking, companies shouldn't be "exploiting the color pink" or using pink ribbons to show their support of breast cancer research, the authors said. She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking.

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