Even one drink a day can increase risk of cancer, study finds

November 13, 2017 by Najja Parker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Do you enjoy the occasional cocktail? Beware, because even moderate consumption of alcohol can increase your risk of cancer, according to a new report.

Researchers from the American Society of Clinical Oncology recently conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, to determine the link between drinking and the disease.

To do so, they looked at several studies that found a strong correlation between and .

After gathering all the data, they concluded that about 3.5 percent of all cancer-related deaths were because of alcohol consumption.

Furthermore, in 2012, they discovered that about 5.5 percent of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide were attributable to drinking alcohol.

"The importance of as a contributing factor to the overall cancer burden is often underappreciated," the organization said in a statement. "Associations between alcohol drinking and cancer risk have been observed consistently regardless of the specific type of ."

While researchers did note the greatest risk was among those with heavy and long-term use and those who also smoked cigarettes, moderate drinking is risky, too. Scientists described moderate as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

This was particularly the case with oropharyngeal and breast cancer.

"A meta-analysis that focused solely on cancer risks associated with drinking one drink or fewer per day observed that this level of alcohol consumption was still associated with some elevated risk for ... oropharyngeal cancer and breast cancer," the authors wrote.

But researchers aren't suggesting you get rid of your booze altogether. They want individuals to recognize "that excessive alcohol use can delay or negatively impact cancer treatment and that reducing high-risk alcohol consumption is cancer prevention," they wrote.

To prevent high-risk , researchers believe lawmakers and health care providers should implement specific strategies and policies.

Some suggestions include limiting youth exposure to advertising of alcoholic beverages and increasing alcohol prices and taxes.

Scientists also hope to conduct more research.

"Systems-based research," the report said, "including research into successful means for the oncology community to identify patients who are currently using alcohol or who may be at high risk for , will be critical."

Explore further: ASCO issues statement regarding alcohol and cancer

Related Stories

ASCO issues statement regarding alcohol and cancer

November 8, 2017
(HealthDay)—Alcohol use is associated with certain types of cancer, and the risk of cancer can be reduced by strategies to prevent excessive use of alcohol, according to a statement published online Nov. 7 in the Journal ...

How much alcohol is really OK?

October 2, 2017
(HealthDay)—All the good news/bad news studies about alcohol can leave you confused. But research suggests that you still need to keep moderation in mind when you raise a glass.

Alcohol may fuel prostate cancer risk

November 16, 2016
(HealthDay)—Drinking may raise the risk of prostate cancer, and the more men drink the greater their risk, a new analysis of 27 studies suggests.

Alcohol consumption contributes to cancer, even in moderate drinkers

June 27, 2016
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of several types of cancer, and was responsible for 236 cancer deaths under 80 years of age in New Zealand in 2012, according to a new study at the University of Otago.

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may have protective health effects

August 14, 2017
Light-to-moderate drinking can lower risk of mortality from all-causes and cardiovascular disease, while heavy drinking can significantly increase risk of mortality from all-causes and cancer, according to a new study published ...

Alcohol consumption putting vast majority of Europeans at risk of digestive cancers

July 4, 2017
Citizens across the EU are consuming an average of 2 alcoholic drinks per day, placing drinkers at a 21% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, in addition to other digestive cancers, a report finds.

Recommended for you

Breast cancer fuelled by mysterious Yin Yang protein

July 23, 2018
Scientists have unveiled clues about a mysterious molecule called Yin Yang1—and revealed it may fuel tumour growth in breast cancer.

Daily low-dose aspirin may be weapon against ovarian cancer

July 20, 2018
(HealthDay)— One low-dose aspirin a day could help women avoid ovarian cancer or boost their survival should it develop, two new studies suggest.

Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to new treatment strategy

July 19, 2018
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a potential therapeutic target for kidney cancers that have a common genetic change. Scientists have known this genetic change ...

High fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce risk of breast cancer, especially aggressive tumors

July 19, 2018
Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a new study led by researchers ...

Sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent in young people

July 19, 2018
A world-first study led by University of Sydney has found that Australians aged 18-40 years who were regular users of sunscreen in childhood reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 40 percent, compared to those who rarely ...

Analysis of prostate tumors reveals clues to cancer's aggressiveness

July 19, 2018
Using genetic sequencing, scientists have revealed the complete DNA makeup of more than 100 aggressive prostate tumors, pinpointing important genetic errors these deadly tumors have in common. The study lays the foundation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.