Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology, an association that represents numerous top cancer doctors in the country, is bringing to the attention of medical world the links between cancer and alcohol. However, the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, oropharyngeal and breast cancer were elevated even among light drinkers (one or fewer drinks per day). The link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established.

"I think the take-home message from the statement is that the really high-risk people are very high drinkers - over a prolonged period of time", LoConte said. Breast and colon cancers are among the biggest cancer-related killers in the country, claiming almost 95,000 American lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

This week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a statement identifying alcohol as a "definite" risk factor for cancer.

The group warns that heavy drinkers have an increased risk of developing liver cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, colorectal cancers and cancer of the voicebox.

As we head into the holiday season, you may want to keep the following findings in mind before allowing yourself to indulge in an extra festive drink or two.

However, a recent ASCO survey found that 7 out of 10 Americans are unaware of a link between alcohol and cancer.

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"We are seeing some very alarming trends in alcohol overconsumption, especially among women", Dr. Ali Mokdad, the author of a separate alcohol usage study, said in a 2015 news release.

There has been some debate over whether alcohol itself, or other elements come the compositions of various alcoholic beverages are cancer-causing.

To reverse the trend, ASCO suggests a number of measures to fight cancer deaths from alcohol, including by limiting sales through increased taxes and incorporating alcohol control strategies into cancer patients' care plans. Also saying, "It's different than tobacco where we say, 'Never smoke". He also said that he wished the comprehension entitles doctors to help their patients decrease their risk of cancer.

"The evidence is very clear", she said.

The researchers add that the benefits of alcohol - especially the widely held belief that red wine improves cardiovascular health - has likely been overstated and doctors should not recommend alcohol consumption to prevent cardiovascular disease.