Does Alcohol Cause Cancer?

does alcohol cause cancer

Until fairly recently, the causes of many types of cancer were not well understood. As research continues, the medical establishment and research scientists are getting a clearer image of some of the links between lifestyle and cancer risk. One of the newer findings is that there is a link between drinking alcohol and cancer.1

What Types of Cancer Are Linked to Alcohol Consumption?

According to the CDC2, the consumption of alcohol of any type, including wine, beer, and distilled liquors, raises the of developing the following types of cancer:

  • Lip, mouth, or throat
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Esophageal
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Liver
  • Breast (in women)

The CDC also points out that while the more alcohol consumed, the greater the risk, there is no safe level of alcohol that prevents the increased risk of developing any of the above-listed forms of cancer.

How Does Drinking Alcohol Up the Risk of Cancer?

While the exact mechanisms are unknown, a recent study published in The Lancet: Oncology showed a clear correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the risk of certain cancers.3

The Lancet study was conducted on a global scale, and the findings showed that some areas of the world had higher levels of presumed alcohol-related cancers than others. Whether these increases were due to genetic or environmental factors has not yet been determined.

What has been clearly shown by this and other studies is that avoiding the consumption of alcohol was the only way to prevent the increase in risk. However, there is a direct correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and a heightened chance of health issues.

In other words, no amount of alcohol was deemed safe, but less is still better than more.

Alcoholism and Cancer Risk

What this means for those who struggle with alcoholism is that they have more incentive than ever to get sober. Even for those known as “functional” alcoholics, those who can control their consumption and maintain relationships and careers, there are risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Anyone dependent on alcohol should seek the help of experienced professionals to help them get sober and stay that way. The sooner a person stops drinking, the less they risk developing a form of cancer associated with alcohol consumption.

Let Providence Treatment Help

Providence Treatment specializes in helping professionals with alcohol or drug dependencies. We focus our treatment practices on those who work in high-stress, high-stakes jobs, like pilots, medical professionals, lawyers, and high-powered business people. Our addiction specialists understand the pressures of these people’s daily workload, their responsibilities, and the need for discretion.

The staff at Providence Treatment also know how damaging addictions can be to the individual, their career aspirations, and those who care about them. We provide patients with whole body and mind treatments, focusing on work/life balance so that they can reach their personal and career goals. Help is a phone call or contact form away for those who suffer from addictions or their loved ones. Contact us at Providence Treatment today to begin the healing process.





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