Alcohol and Cancer Risk

August 9, 2021

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If you’re worried about your cancer risk you might want to consider your alcohol consumption, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Alcohol consumption is associated with a greater risk for cancer, a new global analysis concludes, with some cancers very strongly associated with consumption. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the data.

Nelson: They tried to look at cancer on a global scale and then look at alcohol on a global scale and then estimate alcohol intake per adult and they believe as many as 4% of all cancers newly diagnosed in 2020 were likely associated with drinking alcohol. There were 6.3 million cases of cancer of the mouth and pharynx. Most of that is attributable to alcohol and smoking. Of the voicebox or larynx, the esophagus, colon, rectum, liver and breast cancer all of which have pretty established connections to alcohol intake.  :33

Nelson says this study established a threshold of more than two drinks per day as associated with increased risk, especially if coupled with smoking for mouth and throat cancers. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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