Most unaware of link between alcohol, cancer

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For women, just one alcoholic drink a day can increase breast cancer risk, according to a report released in May from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund that was cited by ASCO.

Since, heavy consumers of alcohol meet much higher risk throat and mouth cancer, liver cancer, cancer of the voice box and to the lower scale, colorectal cancers. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer".

Drinking in general, as well as problem drinking and heavy drinking, are increasing in the US and affect every segment of society, including older adults, women, ethnic and racial minorities, as well as the poor. The link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established.

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They said women who drink - even lightly - have an increased chance of breast and esophageal cancer.

While the ASCO does suggest strategies for cutting back on drinking, it also advocates for temperate use of alcohol, rather than recommending giving up drinking altogether. One such is a ban on advertising alcohol in the buses and subways of New York City that begins as of January 2018.

"We made a decision to push this out because.we were looking over our portfolio of various statements on primary prevention of cancer and we realized that we did not have a statement on alcohol", Noelle LoConte, a representative of ASCO, told International Business Times Tuesday.

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

The risk for heavy drinkers - defined as eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more a week for men, including binge drinkers - are multiples higher.

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less". "We don't have randomized trials, but sometimes when you start looking at the coherence of all the evidence, including the observational epidemiology, the lab studies, the mechanistic studies, you begin to see a picture and get more clarity".

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"And 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. It is really the heavy drinkers over a long period of time that we need to worry about", she said.

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