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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 29, 2023

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Research connects alcohol to cancer

CHICAGO – You eat your veggies, you exercise at least a few times a week, you gave up cigarettes and you have a glass of red wine every day, all because you care about your health.

But one of these things is not like the others.

While your attention has been elsewhere, scientists have amassed persuasive evidence that drinking alcohol – any form of alcohol, even in moderate amounts, can pose a serious threat to your health.

Researchers have known for nearly 20 years that drinking alcoholic beverages can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver. But those diseases don’t get much publicity. This year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer added breast and colon cancer – two of the four major killer cancers – to the list of malignancies known to be fostered by alcohol.

The risk is “dose dependent,” meaning the more you drink, the higher the risk.

According to comprehensive reviews of the scientific evidence, people who average just over one drink a day (100 grams of alcohol in a week’s time) increase their chances of developing colon cancer by about 15 percent. For those who consume about four drinks daily, the risk is 40 percent higher.

Women who have one to two drinks a day increase their breast cancer risk by 13 percent. With four drinks, the risk is 50 percent higher. That’s twice the increase in relative risk attributed to Prempro, the hormone pill tested in the Women’s Health Initiative, the well-known study that found the risks of hormone replacement outweigh the benefits.

Last month, yet another study reinforced the fact that even a glass or two of wine a day increases breast cancer risk. Yes, even red wine.

Drinking small amounts of alcohol – a shot of hard liquor or a glass of beer or wine – on a consistent daily basis does have a few proven health benefits.

Specifically, it reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by blocked arteries by 10 to 15 percent. That’s probably because alcohol increases good cholesterol and prevents blood platelets from clumping together.

“On the other hand, alcohol is detrimental for more than 60 diagnoses,” said Juergen Rehm, head of public health and regulatory policies at the Ontario Center for Addiction and Mental Health.

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