Drinking alcohol can cause various types of cancer. The National Cancer Institute in the United States warns that even when the consumption of alcoholic beverages is light, no more than one drink per day, this increases the risk of the disease.
Drinking alcohol increases your risk of getting at least six different types of cancer: mouth and throat; larynx; esophagus; colon and rectum; liver; and breast in women.
The more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time, the greater their risk of developing alcohol-associated cancer. However, moderate alcohol consumption does not relieve the risks.
The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 note that emerging evidence suggests that even drinking within recommended limits can increase the overall risk of death from various causes, as from various types of cancer and some forms of cardiovascular disease.
All types of alcoholic beveragesincluding red and white wine, beer, cocktails, and spirits, are linked to cancer.
Why does alcohol cause cancer?
Alcohol can affect the normal functions of cells in your body, causing them to grow uncontrollably and become a cancerous tumor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Kinds of Cancer Can Alcohol Cause?
Moderate consumption increases the risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, colon and rectum. The risk of cancer increases with the amount of drinks consumed.
Moderate drinkers have 1.8 times the risk of cavity and pharyngeal (throat) cancers and 1.4 times the risk of laryngeal cancers than non-drinkers; while those who consume alcohol in excess have a 5 times greater risk of oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers. The risk for these types of cancer is even higher when you also smoke.
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with approximately 2 times the risk of two types of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma).
The National Cancer Institute notes that evidence is accumulating that alcohol use is also associated with a increased risk of melanoma, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
How much is moderate alcohol consumption?
Current dietary guidelines keep amounts that are considered moderate consumption in effect. Limit two drinks a day for men and one drink for women.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption is when in a period of 2 hours men ingest 5 or more drinks and women 4 or more drinks.
How much is equal to a drink alcoholic?
An alcoholic beverage equivalent is defined as containing 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol.
Beer: 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol)
Wine: 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol)
Distillates (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, etc): 1.5 fluid ounces (40% alcohol).
It may interest you:
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.