Get Screened Blog

Study: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Can Cause Cancer


Most people know heavy drinkers have an increased risk for cancer, including colon cancer. Normally, people wouldn't think twice about sitting down for a beer and a well-deserved hour of a favorite television drama. Turns out even the average American who consumes one drink per day is increasing their risk for cancer.

In a new study published in Addiction, researchers collected data from the last ten years and found that low or moderate alcohol consumption causes 6% of cancers worldwideFor the "glass-of-wine-at-dinner" or "a-beer-after-work" people, this is sad news indeed.

“Promotion of health benefits from drinking at moderate levels is seen increasingly as disingenuous or irrelevant in comparison to the increase in risk of a range of cancers,” Jennie Connor, the lead author of the paper, wrote. "Population-wide reduction in alcohol consumption will have an important effect on the incidence of [cancer], while targeting the heaviest drinkers alone has limited potential.

The researchers noted there is a cause-and-affect relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer in specific areas, like colon cancer. 

"Put very briey, existing epidemiological evidence supports a causal association of alcohol consumption with cancers at seven sites: oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast," Connor wrote.

In other words, researchers have established that alcohol can directly cause cancer. It's safer to stay away from alcohol entirely. However, it's also really important to get screened regularly for colon cancer. Together, screening and reducing alcohol intake will dramatically reduce your risk for colon cancer.

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