Effects of stopping alcohol consumption on subsequent risk of esophageal cancer
Cancer of the oesophagus is becoming more common in Europe and North America. Around 7,800 people in the UK are diagnosed each year. The exact causes of this cancer aren't fully understood. It appears to be more common in people who have long-term acid reflux (backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus).
Other factors that can affect the risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus include:
- Gender – It is more common in men than in women.
- Age – The risk of developing oesophageal cancer increases as we get older. It occurs most commonly in people over 45.
- Smoking – The longer a person smokes and the more tobacco they smoke, the greater the risk.
- Alcohol – Drinking a lot of alcohol over a long period of time increases your risk, especially if you smoke too.
- Diet – Having a diet low in fresh fruit and vegetables is linked to an increased risk of oesophageal cancer.
- Obesity – Being overweight is associated with a higher risk. This is thought to be because long-term acid reflux is more common in people who are overweight.
Forum reviewers considered this to be a well-done analysis. Forum members emphasized, as did the authors, a number of limitations of the study. Adjustments for smoking may not have been adequate: most upper aero-digestive cancers show a strong interaction between smoking and alcohol consumption in relation to cancer risk, (there is little effect of moderate alcohol consumption among non-smokers found in studies).
Further, large differences in the alcohol-cancer association were shown in this study for different geographical regions (some associations being much higher in Asia than in Europe or North America), but such differences were not adjusted for in the main analyses. The fact that the authors of this paper did not have data permitting the separation of ex-drinkers and never drinkers (both groups being included in the "non-drinker" category), and their inability to judge the effects of the baseline pattern of drinking (regular versus binge drinking), may also be limitations to the interpretation of their results. Adjustment for such factors may have influenced the effects of stopping drinking on subsequent cancer risk, and markedly changed the calculated effects on the numbers of cancers prevented worldwide.
In any case, the fact that cessation of drinking may reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer is of importance. Other studies suggest further that reducing the amount of alcohol consumed to moderate levels rather than the complete cessation of drinking, may be associated with lowering of cancer risk among non-smokers, and low-level regular alcohol intake has been shown to have beneficial health effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions.
More information: Jarl J, Gerdtham Ulf-G. Time pattern of reduction in risk of oesophageal cancer following alcohol cessation—a meta-analysis. Addiction, 107, 1234. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03772.x
Journal reference: Addiction
Provided by Boston University Medical Center
- Role of alcohol intake and smoking on upper aerodigestive cancers Sep 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- The effects of smoking and alcohol use on risk of upper aero-digestive cancers Aug 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- The role that alcohol drinking may play in the risk of cancer Apr 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Relation of alcohol consumption to colorectal cancer Sep 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Association of lifestyle and environmental factors with the risk of cancer Dec 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
4 hours ago Alright, so in Pathfinder (like Dungeons and Dragons) there's a spell that allows you to lift/move stuff within 25 ft with 5 pounds of force. A...
7 hours ago So energy can only be converted... So when you squeeze the bulb on a blood pressure cuff, you are applying kinetic energy. Then the cuff fills with...
How does momentum, inertia and drag affect the motion of an object?
9 hours ago How does momentum and inertia affect changes in speed, when considering acceleration from thrust, or from decelleration from drag? Say, for a...
What is Time-Varying Voltage?
11 hours ago In circuits, we have no problem saying that the voltage difference between two point is [itex]\cos(\omega t)[/itex], but what does that actually...
Contextual Relationships Between Momentum, Energy, and Force.
12 hours ago *I apologize in advance for the length of this post, if you wish to reduce reading skip to paragraph 5. Or if you are super lazy, the final...
Barometric pressure and the math behind it. Very interesting, I think.
14 hours ago Hey guys, I was actually researching the life of Edmond Halley and discovered that he discovered the relationship between barometric pressure and the...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In order to avoid exposing vulnerable groups such as children and young adults to alcohol advertising, industry groups have developed their own self-regulation guidelines. However, these guidelines have been criticized for ...
Addiction 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
In order to avoid harms associated with alcohol consumption, in 2009 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued guidelines that define low-risk drinking. These guidelines differ for men and women: no more ...
Addiction 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
Addiction 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida have evaluated how Florida health care and social service agencies distribute "Libres para Siempre", a Spanish smoking relapse prevention booklet ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Declines in smoking among youths were observed from the late 1990s. "However, limited information exists on trends in smokeless ...
Addiction May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
15 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |