Any alcohol, even that small glass of wine you drink before dinner, increases the risk of cancer. In a statement given by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), it seems that any amount of alcohol, being light, moderate or heavy drinking, can raise the risk of being diagnosed with different types of cancer: breast, colon, esophageal, larynx and oral cancers.
In the ASCO paper that got published in their medical journey, they found out that in 2012, 6% of the worldwide deaths caused by cancer were linked to alcohol consumption. The US deaths in this case get to 3.5%.
While most of those cases are related to people that drank a lot of alcohol, light drinking is also posing a risk. In an online survey, the ASCO has seen that less than one person in three knows that consuming alcohol will lead to a risk of cancer.
According to the ASCO President, Bruce Johnson, alcohol consumption is linked to the increase of cancer, and the medical community should help and guide their patients in how to reduce the risk.
It looks like not even the healthy antioxidant wine is a safe bet, as doctors say that any kind of alcohol poses such a risk, according to their studies.
Why is Alcohol Causing Cancer?
The ethanol that exists in alcoholic drinks turns into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical that can damage DNA and proteins. The body experiences oxidation, further damaging DNA and proteins. Alcohol also makes it harder for the body to absorb nutrients.
This news isn’t shocking, as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already stated that the risk of cancer is increased even when people drink low amounts of alcohol.
For those who want to go for a drink, the CDC recommends them to have some moderation, one drink a day for women and two drinks for men should be enough – and it should not be consumed every day.
If you want to lower the risk of getting cancer, you should give up drinking for about 20 years – in order to seem like you have never consumed alcohol.