Beware: Research links alcohol consumption to 7 cancer types
A new study has revealed that a glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer in human. The researchers said even people who drink low levels are at risk of developing the disease – killing off the idea that a glass of red wine can be good for you.
Although the exact mechanism is not known, there is ‘strong evidence’ alcohol increases the risk of developing the disease, experts said.
According to the study which was published on Mail Online , alcohol causes cancer of the mouth and throat, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, bowel and breast, but may also cause other forms.
However, despite several health campaigns on abstinence from alcohol, 90 per cent of people don’t realise drinking alcohol increases the risk of getting the deadly disease.
Professor Jennie Connor, of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago Medical School in New Zealand, conducted the review of research taking into account the latest studies.
She said alcohol is estimated to have caused half a million deaths since 2012 – amounting to more than one in 20 – 5.8 per cent – of all cancer deaths.
Professor Connor added: ‘There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites, and probably others.
‘Confirmation of specific biological mechanisms by which alcohol increases the incidence of each type of cancer is not required to infer that alcohol is a cause.’
She said there is no safe level of drinking with respect to cancer. However, the risks are reduced for some forms when people stop drinking.
The supposed health benefits of drinking – such as red wine being good for the heart – were seen as irrelevant in comparison to the increased risk of cancer.
Professor Connor said the evidence shows the relation between alcohol and cancer is ‘dose dependent’ – in other words the more you drink, the greater the risk.
The research reinforces guidelines issued in January, by the UK’s chief medical officers, who said no level of regular drinking is without risks to health.
Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England said each time she has a drink, she asks herself ‘do I want the glass of wine or do I want to raise my risk of breast cancer?’
In light of the medical officers’ report, NHS guidelines now advise men should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, down from the previous 21 units, bringing them into line with the recommendation for women.