A new study shows that there is a link between drinking and cancer.
CBS news reports on the new study. A recent study shows that just one or two drinks a day could increase a person’s risk of developing certain cancers.
The new study was comprehensive; it incorporated 136,000 adults. The study found that even light and/or moderate drinking was connected to a heightened chance of developing breast cancer. It was also attributed to many other cancers in male smokers.
What is light drinking?
For the purposes of this study, researchers define light drinking as up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks daily for men.
The lead author of the study, Yin Cao, a research fellow in the nutrition department at Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, commented on his findings. He said, “Our study reinforces the dietary guidelines that it is important not to go beyond one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.”
Researchers said determining whether to drink and how much should take into account a person’s smoking history, family history of alcohol related cancers and a person’s risk of heart disease.
What are other alcohol related cancers besides breast cancer? There are actually many of them: colon, liver, oral, throat and esophagus cancer.
Researchers also said that women should weigh the heightened risk of alcohol-related cancers, primarily breast cancer, against the potential benefits of alcohol in preventing heart disease. The American Heart Association says that heart disease is decreased amongst light drinkers, but alcohol consumption could cause high blood pressure.
How was the study conducted?
“The report, published online Aug. 18 in the BMJ, Cao's team used data from two studies of health professionals in the United States: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. During up to 30 years of follow-up, more than 19,000 women and nearly 7,600 men developed cancers, according to the report,” according to CBS.
Researchers said that when it came to men who had never smoked, the threat of alcohol-related cancers was not increased that much. But, the threat was raised for men who had smoked, the researchers found. However when it came to females, even women who had never smoked had a heightened risk of alcohol-related cancers, mainly breast cancer, with one drink a day.
CBS reports, “One drink (14 grams of alcohol) is the equivalent of about a 4-ounce glass of wine or a 12-ounce bottle of beer in the United States. Alcohol can cause cancer, even at levels of light to moderate drinking. The present study reinforces this statement.”
Statistics show that alcohol consumption contributes to approximately 4% of the cancers in the world today.