September 15, 2011

Slow Down Drinking, Cancer May Be Waiting

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Colorectal cancer is linked with increased consumption of alcohol

(dailyRx News) Heavy drinking can cause many problems including liver failure and cancers –specifically colorectal cancer. Be cautious of how much you drink because risks increase as you drink more.

Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) examined 27 cohorts and 34 case-control studies to find that moderate and heavy drinking can increase risk for colorectal cancer. Moderate drinkers had a 21 percent increased risk, while heavy drinkers had a 52 percent increased risk.

"More than 3 drinks a day may increase your risk for colorectal cancer."

Moderate drinking in this study was considered up to four typical drinks and heavy drinking was considered more than four. A typical drink is considered either a 12 fluid ounce mug of beer, 5 fluid ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces of liquor.

Risks were also higher in men who drank moderately compared to those who didn’t drink. Researchers also found that heavy drinking increased risks more often in Asian studies.

According to the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, more research is needed to determine the maximum amount of alcohol that will increase risk, whether or not there are differences between the types of alcoholic beverages and if binge drinking will also increase risks.

This meta-analysis was published in the Annals of Oncology.

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
September 13, 2011

Last Updated:
September 15, 2011