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Any Amount of Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk

"When it comes to cancer, no amount of alcohol is safe." This is the conclusion of the 2014 World Cancer Report, issued by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Alcohol can cause cancers of the esophagus, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, liver and pancreas. It is also associated with increased risk for leukemia, multiple myeloma and cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, skin, bladder, lung, and stomach.

Alcohol and its breakdown product called acetaldehyde can damage any living tissue they touch. The risk for cancer increases with the amount of alcohol that comes in contact with the tissue. Alcoholic beverages first touch the mouth and then the esophagus; therefore, these areas are at high risk for alcohol-induced cancers. Alcohol reaches the colon, rectum, and liver later so the link between these cancers and alcohol is not as strong.  More

Smoking Increases Cancer Risk from Alcohol
The risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus is much higher if you drink and smoke than if you use either alcohol or tobacco alone. The more you drink and smoke, the greater your risk (Int J Cancer, 2011;128:533-540).

Checked  5/2/17

June 1st, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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