The American Society of Clinical Oncology managed to worry all drinkers after it reveals that the risk of cancer can be increased even by light drinking. Obviously, this sounds bad, but as always we should remember that things might not be as scary as they seem.
As it turns out the biggest cancer risks are for those who drink heavily. In the United States, 3.5 percent of cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol, which is a small percent, if you consider that there is 96.5 percent left.
Previous studies revealed that you can find evidence linking common ingredients with both lower rates of cancer and higher rates of cancer.
We do not know for sure if the correlation is that powerful
The announcement revealed that light drinking is associated with a relative risk of 1.04 when it comes to breast cancer. This is not a lot at all if you think about the fact that 1.0 represents almost no difference in risk. Besides, a woman over 40 years already has an absolute risk of 1.45, which means that light drinking would not increase that risk too much. A heavy drinker might have a 2.33 percent risk.
Other studies reveal other things
If we take a look at different studies, we might find some different results. For example, a 2013 meta-analysis in the Annals of Oncology revealed that light drinking can be considered protective, and moderate drinking had no effect. Heavy drinking was indeed bad, but this comes as no surprise. This study analyzed all cancers.
If we focus on other diseases, a 2004 systematic review revealed that moderate drinking should reduce the rates of diabetes, even up to 56 percent lower. Other studies revealed that drinking can lead to better cognitive function in middle age.