Alcohol Consumption and Cancer – The Carcinogenic Risks of Alcohol

Alcohol is the cause of 10% of male cancer and 3% of cancer in women. The risk for cancer is in line with the level of alcohol consumption for a daily intake of more than 80gr / day.

What is alcohol?

Alcohol is the most widely used term for ethanol or ethyl alcohol, a chemical substance found in beverages such as beers, wines and other liquors, as well as in some medical substances, mouthwash juices, home cleaning products and essential oils.

Alcohol is produced by fermentation of sugar and herbs rich in amidon and yeast. The yeast, in contact with sugars and amidonates, enters a chemical reaction from the oldest in nature.

Alcoholic drinks have originated in ancient antiquity and have been used by many civilizations across the globe. It is used for medical, hygienic, artistic inspiration and others.

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What are the carcinogenic risks?

Head-to-neck cancer: particularly oral cavity, pharynx and laryngeal cancer (sound box). People who consume 50 or more grams of alcohol per day (3.5 or more drinks a day) have a high risk of developing these types of cancer.

Esophageal cancer: alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for a particular type of esophageal cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Moreover, in people who inherit a lack of enzymes that metabolize alcohol, a high risk of developing this type of cancer has been found.

Liver cancer: Alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor and the primary cause of liver cancer. Hepatitis B and C chronic infections are other major causes of liver cancer.

Breast Cancer: More than 100 epidemiological studies have noted the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. In an analysis of 53 studies (including 58,000 women with breast cancer) it was found that women who had smoked more than 45 grams of alcohol a day (about three cups) had a high risk of developing breast cancer.

Colon cancer: Alcohol consumption is associated with a modest increase in the risk of colon cancer. Analysis of 57 studies and control cases showed that people who regularly drink 50 or more grams of alcohol a day have a 1.5 times higher risk of developing colon cancer.

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Does drinking red wine prevent cancer?

While using purified proteins, human cells and laboratory animals, researchers have discovered that some specific substances in red wine such as resveratrol have anti-cancer properties. Grapes, raspberries, peanuts and some other plants contain resveratrol.

However, clinical studies in humans have not provided evidence that resveratrol is effective in preventing cancer or treating cancer. Few epidemiological studies have specifically noted the link between red wine consumption and cancer risk to humans.


What happens when you stop drinking alcohol?

Many studies that have explored whether the risk of cancer decreases after a person stops drinking alcohol are focused on head and neck cancer and the esophagus. Overall, these studies have shown that prohibition on alcohol consumption is not associated with immediate risk reduction for cancer, but it takes years for the risk of cancer to decline, as do alcohol consumers.

In studies conducted with cases of oral cavity and mouthwash cancer it has been found that cancer risk has not decreased even after 10 years of discontinuation of alcohol consumption. Even after 16 years after not consuming alcohol, the risk of cancer is still high for former alcoholics compared to non-alcohol consumers.

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