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Alcohol is a cancer risk

The National Cancer Institute says clear patterns have emerged between alcohol consumption and certain types of cancer. These include:

  • Head and neck cancer. While there are multiple types and causes of head and neck cancer, alcohol consumption increases the risk of mouth, throat and larynx cancers. People who consume more than 50 grams a day (3.5 drinks or more) have a two to three times greater risk of developing these cancers than non-drinkers.
  • Esophageal cancer: Alcohol consumption has been found to be a major risk factor for a certain type of esophageal cancer (esophageal squamous cell carcinoma).
  • Liver cancer; Alcohol consumption can be both a risk factor for and a primary cause of liver cancer, although hepatitis infections can also cause the disease.
  • Breast cancer: Women who comsume 45 grams, or 3 drinks, per day have a moderately increased risk for breast cancer. It is important to bnote, though, that the risk of breast cancer was higher across all levels of alcohol intake - for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed daily, there was a 7 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer. And a large-scale study in the United Kingdom put that percent even higher, at a 12 percent increase for every 10 rams of alcohol (slightly less than one drink per day).

Exercising moderation can help you reduce your risk. For the full details, visit the National Cancer Institute website.