Top doctors release a warning about alcohol: It dramatically increases cancer risk

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Drinking even one alcoholic drink per day is linked with a 5 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer, a 17 percent increase in the risk of oropharyngeal cancer (a cancer of the middle part of the throat) and a 30 percent increase in the risk of esophageal cancer, compared with not drinking, according to a 2013 study cited by the ASCO statement.

Even those who drink moderately, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one daily drink for women and two for men, face almost a doubling of the risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, compared to nondrinkers.

Drinking alcohol, even a light or moderate amount, increases the risk of several common cancers, according to a leading group of cancer doctors.

"The more you drink, the higher the risk", said Dr. Clifford A. Hudis, the chief executive of ASCO.

For the statement, ASCO researchers reviewed earlier published studies and concluded that 5.5 percent of all new cancers and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide could be attributed to alcohol. Fewer than one in three adults identified alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.

But if you drink more than that, all hope is not lost. They oppose it given the evidence that shows there exists a link between the consumption of alcohol and a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

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Many people may not recognize the link between alcohol and cancer, Ashton said, and thus may be missing out on an opportunity to lower cancer risk factors.

For people who choose to drink alcohol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men consume no more than two drinks per day and women consume no more than one drink per day to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, including cancer.

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

"With alcohol we are not saying don't drink ever".

"With colon cancer, alcohol seems to interfere with the way folate is absorbed, which is a known precursor in the path to developing cancer in the colon", LoConte said to CTV News. The connection between rising alcohol intake and cancer has been substantially confirmed. She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking.

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