Alcohol and Cancer
Did you know that alcohol and cancer are correlated? You probably know that smoking and getting too much sun can cause cancer. But, you might not realize that drinking alcohol can also raise your risk of getting cancer. SMILES here explain the effects of alcohol consumption
According to a leading group of cancer institutes, drinking alcohol even light or moderate amount has been linked to an increased risk for various types of cancers. Alcohol is responsible for about 5% of new cancer cases and cancer-related deaths around the world.
Not surprisingly, research finds that heavy drinkers are more at risk of developing cancers. As explained bycancer specialists, the consumption of alcohol gets into the bloodstream and can cause damage to various parts of the body that leads to different types of cancers.
What types of cancers are caused by alcohol
Drinking alcohol raises your chances of getting six different kinds of cancers that include:
1. Liver cancer
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer. Regular and long-term alcohol use can cause damage to the liver that leads to inflammation and scarring. Liver cancer can be a very serious condition, and unfortunately many are dying from this disease.
2. Esophageal cancer
Alcohol consumption at any level increases your risk of getting Esophageal cancer. Scientists have found that some alcoholics are more likely to increase the risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and others for squamous cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that happens in the lining of the esophagus.
3. Mouth and throat cancer
If you drink alcohol regularly, your mouth and throat are often close in contact with alcohol, which is a risk factor of mouth and throat cancer. Heavy drinkers are five times more likely to get throat. And the risk gets even bigger since alcohol is a way for harmful chemicals to get inside the mouth.
4. Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women. The experts of colorectal cancer explain that moderate to heavy consumption of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancers of the colon or rectum. Drinking alcohol causes an inflammatory response in your gut, it can lead to intestinal inflammation and thereby colon cancer.
5. Breast cancer
Epidemiology studies have found an increased risk of breast cancer in women with alcohol intake. Alcohol can increase the levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with breast cancer. Consumption of alcohol may also increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells.
6. Oropharyngeal cancer
Oropharyngeal cancer is a kind of head and neck cancer. For some people, more than one cancer occurs in the oropharynx and in other parts of the oral cavity, nose, pharynx, larynx (voice box), or esophagus. Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with higher risks of certain head and neck cancers.
How does alcohol affect the risk of cancer?
Researchers and qualified cancer specialists have listed multiple mechanisms that may increase the risk of cancer including:
- DNA damage: When DNA is damaged a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancerous tumor.
- Chronic tissue inflammation: It can result from drinking alcohol at moderate to high levels.
- Increasing blood levels of estrogen: It is linked to abnormal sex hormones that cause the risk of breast cancer
- Genetics: There is a chance of suffering from cancer through alcohol and genetics.
Are you a heavy drinker? If so, you may be raising your risk of developing the above cancers. Dr. Prasad, the best gastroenterologist in Bangalore explains that the more you drink, the higher your risk for colorectal cancer. Approach SMILES for better colorectal cancer treatment.