Everyone knows a can of beer isn’t as good for you as a glass of orange juice. And, it’s common knowledge that excessive amounts of alcohol aren’t good for your liver.
That’s the old news.
So, what’s the new scoop? Turns out the latest research found a causal association between alcohol and seven different types of cancer. Yep; you read that correctly: seven different kinds of cancer.
Closer Than Relatives
So, here’s the breakdown: The heaviest drinkers are at the highest risk, but even those of us who have an extra glass of wine can be in danger. This study shows a direct link in alcohol consumption and these seven types of cancer:
- Oropharynx (the back of the mouth)
- Larynx (the voice box)
- Esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach)
- Colon (large intestine)
- Rectum (the last section of the large intestine)
The evidence comes from thorough reviews of information collected over the last ten years by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Global Burden of Disease Alcohol Group, and meta-analysis completed by the reporting research group, Bagnardi and colleagues, whose findings were published in Addiction Journal.
Just the Facts
According to this study, alcohol caused 5.8 percent of cancer deaths worldwide in 2012. If that seems like a small number, consider the big picture. Each year, 7.6 million people die from cancer. Six percent of that huge figure is still pretty big. It means alcohol killed nearly half a million people through cancer in 2012. And, that’s just one year.
Bringing it closer to home, everyone knows that cancer is the leading cause of death in the U.S. One of every four deaths is from cancer. Considering these newly found associations, it certainly seems like alcohol plays a frightening role in these statistics.
It makes you wonder – How many of these deaths were preventable?
It makes you think – How many would still be alive if not for the cancer-causing effects of alcohol?
It makes you reconsider – Is that drink worth the risk to my body?
Additional Reading: Unchain My Heart – The Real Impact of Booze
Image Source: iStock