smoking and chronic infections, alcohol consumption is an
important cause of several types of cancer, researchers said
on Monday. Excessive drinking raises the risk of
cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon,
and breast. It may also be linked with cancer of the
pancreas and lung.
is underestimated as a cause of cancer in many parts of the
world," said Paolo Boffetta of the International
Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.
"A sizable proportion of cancer today is due to
alcohol intake, and this is increasing in many regions,
particularly in East Asia and Eastern Europe."
Boffetta and Mia
Hashibe, who reviewed research into the link between
alcohol and cancer, found the more alcohol consumed, the
higher the risk of developing cancer. But they advised
people to drink moderately, rather than give up
alcohol completely, because of its protective benefits
against cardiovascular disease.
avoidance of alcohol, although optimum for cancer control,
cannot be recommended in terms of broad perspective of
public health, in particular in countries with high
incidence of cardiovascular disease," Boffetta
said in a report in The Lancet Oncology
scientists said men and women should limit how much alcohol
they drink to reap the benefits but avoid the dangers.
alcohol increases the odds of developing cancer is not
clear, but genetic susceptibility is an important
component. "Given the linear dose-response
relation between alcohol intake and risk of cancer, control
of heavy drinking remains the main target for cancer
control," Boffetta added. (Reuters)