One in seven patients diagnosed with cancer in 2020 has been drinking alcohol

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A lot of people like to have a glass of wine with dinner or enjoy a beer while watching TV and it doesn’t sound like too much. But, a new study claims that drinking a drink or two a day dramatically increases the risk of developing cancer.

The new study was conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and joins a growing body of scientific evidence that there is no “safe amount of alcohol” and that all drinking is harmful.

“There are risks associated with all alcohol consumption,” said Dr. Jürgen Rhem, a mental health expert at the University of Toronto and co-author of the research article published in the journal. The Lancet Oncology.

(Credit: courtesy)

The researchers used data on global alcohol consumption collected by the World Health Organization, as well as artificial intelligence surveys and data on alcohol sales. They used these numbers to weigh the relative risk of developing cancer versus drinking alcohol. According to their data, alcohol is used as a “fuel” for about a quarter of all common cancers, especially breast and bowel cancers.

For tumors affected by alcohol, any amount consumed increases the risk.

For example, each glass of wine (average size) per day increases the risk of breast cancer by an additional 6%, ”said Rehm.

In many homes, the practice of pouring a glass of wine at the end of the day is common, and with coronavirus lockouts more and more people have adopted the habit. In addition, with isolation, alcohol consumption has increased around the world.
“In our clinic, we see people who say they have drunk more since the pandemic epidemic,” said Dr. Leslie Buckley, chief of the addictions division at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAHM), who was a research partner.

She added that while the pandemic may be a temporary stressor that will pass, the habits people adapt during the crown could become permanent.

Often the damage from short-term alcohol use is mild and barely noticeable, but over time it begins to send signals. Results like cancer and liver disease can be devastating, Buckley pointed out.

One in seven new tumors are linked to alcohol consumption

Study results show that for one in seven new cancer cases diagnosed in 2020, each patient was described as a light to moderate drinker. These people did not consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week (or about six average glasses of wine or six pints of beer).

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“There are countless ways that alcohol causes cancer, but the main one is that it disrupts the DNA damage repair process. Another mechanism by which alcohol causes cancer is chronic consumption resulting in cirrhosis of the liver and disruption of sexual activity. In addition, alcohol increases the risk of head and neck tumors in smokers because it increases the absorption of carcinogens present in tobacco “, explained Dr. Kevin Shield, who participated in the study.

According to researchers, alcohol consumption contributes significantly to the increase in the global cancer burden, and yet these consequences are not sufficiently recognized or understood.

“Our research highlights the need to make resources available to raise awareness and create medical interventions to raise public awareness of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer risk,” said Dr Isabel Suritrem, researcher on the cancer at the World Health Organization which also aided in this study.


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