Drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer

Drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer

Drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer

Drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer, no matter the amount, according to new research from Otago University in New Zealand.

The cancers linked to alcohol include head, neck, esophageal, liver, colorectal and female breast cancer, according to the study, which was an analysis of previous studies on the subject.

The study abstract summarized the following methods and results:


Recent epidemiological and biological research on alcohol and cancer was reviewed and summarized, drawing upon published meta-analyses identified from the Medline database and the archives of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. More recent epidemiological studies not included in these publications were also reviewed. A brief description of the nature of causal inference in epidemiology was used to frame discussion of the strength of the evidence that alcohol causes cancer, and contrast this with the case for a protective association of alcohol with cardiovascular disease.


The usual epidemiological understanding of a cause is a factor that increases the incidence of a condition in the population. In the context of a body of epidemiological evidence of an association of alcohol consumption with a disease, the inference that it is a causal association requires alternative explanations of the observed finding to be judged unlikely. Even without complete knowledge of biological mechanisms, the epidemiological evidence can support the judgement that alcohol causes cancer of the oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast. The measured associations exhibit gradients of effect that are biologically plausible, and there is some evidence of reversibility of risk in laryngeal, pharyngeal and liver cancers when consumption ceases. The limitations of cohort studies mean that the true effects may be somewhat weaker or stronger than estimated currently, but are unlikely to be qualitatively different. The same, or similar, epidemiological studies also commonly report protection from cardiovascular disease associated with drinking but a high level of scepticism regarding these findings is now warranted.

Having some alcohol-free days each week is a good way to cut down on the amount you’re drinking,” Dr. Jana Witt, of Cancer Research UK, told The Guardian. “Also, try swapping every other alcoholic drink for a soft drink, choosing smaller servings or less alcoholic versions of drinks, and not keeping a stock of booze at home.”

The study showing that drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer was published in the journal Addiction.

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1. “No Confusion: Alcohol Causes Seven Cancers.” Medscape. Medscape, n.d. Web. 28 July 2016.
2. “Alcohol Consumption as a Cause of Cancer.” Wiley Online Library. Addiction, n.d. Web. 28 July 2016.
3. “Nearly 6% Of Cancer Deaths Worldwide May Be Linked To Alcohol Consumption.” Medical Daily. Medical Daily, 25 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2016.

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