Knowledge to Prevent and Manage Cancer

Monday, December 16, 2019

Alcohol drinking and related Cancer


Dr. A K Nanda  
MD, Radiation Oncology



         Alcohol causes liver problem and if it will cause any cancer that will be liver cancer. This is the concept that everybody possess. Is this concept right ? I am here highlighting some facts about it.
        First of all, it should be clear in our mind that all types of alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, cocktails, and liquor, are linked with cancer.

Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting eight kinds of cancer-

Alcohol may also increase the risk of cancer of the Pancreas and Stomach.

Category of drinking-

It is recommended that if alcohol is consumed, it should be done in moderation, and moderate alcohol drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Heavy alcohol drinking is defined as having 4 or more drinks on any day or 8 or more drinks per week for women and 5 or more drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks per week for men. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men in one sitting (typically in about 2 hours). Different countries have different measures of standard drinking. One standard alcoholic drink in the United States contains 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. The permitted age for drinking alcohol varies from state to state in India. And even the consumption and purchasing age of alcohol are different in the different states (Alcohol laws of India).
         Heavy alcohol drinking, underage drinking and binge drinking can lead to increased risk of health problems such as injuries, violence, liver diseases and cancer. Moderate alcohol drinking may also be associated with cancer.

  The less alcohol you drink, the lower will be your risk for cancer.


Why Does Alcohol Use Raise Cancer Risk ?

        The exact mechanism is not yet clear. Some of proposed mechanisms are
  • Alcohol breaks down into a chemical called acetaldehyde inside the body. Acetaldehyde damages DNA and prevents body from repairing the damage. DNA is the cell’s “instruction manual” that controls a cell’s normal growth and function. When DNA is damaged, a cell can grow out of control and create cancer.
  • Alcohol can act as an irritant, especially in the mouth and throat. Cells that are damaged by the alcohol, try to repair themselves. If damage and repair continues, this could lead to changes in DNA which may act as a step towards cancer.
  • Alcohol may help the harmful chemicals of tobacco smoke to enter the cells lining the upper digestive tract more easily. This is why the combination of smoking and drinking is much more likely to cause cancers in the mouth or throat than smoking or drinking alone.

Conclusion:

        The more you drink the more you get chances of cancer. Combining smoking with drinking is more dangerous than having either alone. Even moderate alcohol drinking may leads to cancer. Hence non drinkers should not start drinking and drinkers who can not give up drinking should limit their drinking to below moderation. But the best way is to avoid alcohol.

Other topic- obesity and cancer

Referrence-

  1. Centrers for Disease Cotrol and Prevention (CDC)-- https://www.cdc.gov/
  2. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015–2020 --https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
  3. American Cancer Society-- https://www.cancer.org/

16 comments:

  1. Nice article jain... A step towards awareness

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  2. Tnk u dada for this life saving information..

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  3. Good note Avani..��
    Alcohol in general has varied meaning..as content varies in large extent..if you could sum them up based on content and geographical situation it will be helpful ..

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