Drinking too much alcohol every day can cause one in 25 cancers 25

According to a study, too much alcohol could be the cause of one in 25 new cancers worldwide each year.

An international team of experts estimates that 741,300 diagnoses, or 4 percent of new cancer cases in 2020, can be attributed to heavy and moderate drinking.

The analysis – which looked at alcohol sales and medical records in 240 countries – found that most cases linked to alcohol were cancers of the esophagus, liver and breast.

Britain ranks middle in the global analysis, with 4 percent of cancers in the country related to alcohol use (16,800).

The US performed slightly better, with about 3 percent due to excessive alcohol consumption (52,700 cases).

Both countries lagged far behind Mongolia, where consuming too much alcohol was linked to nearly one in 10 cancers, and Moldova, where it was perhaps behind one in 12.

Kuwait, where all alcohol is banned, had the lowest cancer rate associated with alcohol use.

The authors admitted that their study was unable to look at the impact of the pandemic on drinking rates. Numerous studies have shown that alcohol consumption rose during the lockdown and that more cancers were missed.

Britain ranks middle in the global analysis, with 4 percent of cancers in the country related to alcohol use (16,800). The US performed slightly better, with about 3 percent due to excessive alcohol consumption (52,700 cases). Both countries lagged far behind Mongolia, where consuming too much alcohol was linked to nearly one in 10 cancers, and Moldova, where it was perhaps behind one in 12.

The analysis - which looked at alcohol sales and medical records in 240 countries - found that most cases linked to alcohol were cancers of the esophagus, liver and breast.

The analysis – which looked at alcohol sales and medical records in 240 countries – found that most cases linked to alcohol were cancers of the esophagus, liver and breast.

The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, used data on alcohol sales from 2010 and, assuming a 10-year latency period between consumption and diagnosis, then combined this with cancer incidence in 2020.

The researchers used data from the World Health Organization’s Global Cancer Observatory, which measures cancer cases around the world.

Globally, men were found to be more likely to develop cancer as a result of drinking, accounting for an estimated 77 percent of all cases in the study, while women made up the remaining 23 percent.

HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS TOO MUCH?

Adults are advised to regularly drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

A half pint of beer, lower to medium-strength ale, lager or cider (3.6 percent strength) is one unit of alcohol, while a small 125ml glass of wine is 1.5 units.

If adults drink up to 14 units per week, it is recommended to divide this evenly over three or more days.

If you are concerned about yourself or anyone else drinking, the NHS advises you contact your GP for advice.

Some of the signs are:

– You often feel the need to drink or think your drinking is causing problems

– You get in trouble because of your drinking

– Other people warn you about how much you drink

You can also contact a range of alcohol charities and support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous on 08009177650.

While risky and heavy drinking contributed to the majority of global cancer cases, the authors found that even moderate drinking, the equivalent of about two glasses of wine or two pints of lager a day, accounted for 14 percent of all cases, about 103,100 cases.

“Risk” drinking was defined as two to three pints of lager a day or two to five small glasses of red wine. Heavy drinking was more than four pints a day or more than five small glasses of wine.

The study authors called for greater public awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer and more government interventions to reduce alcohol consumption.

Previous studies have linked alcohol consumption to a variety of cancers, including those of the throat, liver, breast, and colon.

Alcohol causes damage to the human body’s DNA through increased production of harmful chemicals and also affects the body’s hormone production, which can contribute to the development of cancer.

Commenting on the study, Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance, said the results were unfortunately not surprising and urged people to limit their alcohol consumption.

“It’s safest not to drink alcohol, but if you do, you should follow the low-risk guidelines from the chief physicians, which is that you shouldn’t drink more than 14 drinks a week on a regular basis.”

Sir Gilmore said the British government needed to raise public awareness of the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer.

“Alcohol is wreaking havoc in this country every day – over the past year alcohol-related deaths have increased by 20 per cent in England and Wales,” he said.

“If the UK government is to show its commitment to reversing this tragic trend, it urgently needs to improve public understanding of the risks of alcohol through improved labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages, including cancer warnings.”

Sadie Boniface, head of research at King’s College London at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, agreed that more needed to be done to clarify the link between alcohol use and cancer.

“There is an increased risk of breast, esophageal, mouth and throat cancer from low alcohol consumption, and also an increased risk of liver and colorectal cancers with higher levels of drinking,” she said.

dr. Boniface said an imminent consolation from the UK government over alcohol labeling could be an opportunity to change that.

“The upcoming consultation on alcohol labeling will be a real opportunity to introduce independent health information on alcohol products so that consumers can make fully informed decisions about their alcohol consumption,” she said.

The authors of the Lancet study also note that they may have an overestimated liver cancer that could have been caused by alcohol in some countries, including Mongolia, because of a potential interaction with hepatitis B and C virus infection.

They also add that data on cancer cases may be of limited quality in some low- and middle-income countries.

DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK

A screening tool commonly used by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). The 10-question test was developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization and is considered the gold standard for determining whether someone has problems with alcohol abuse.

The test is reproduced here with permission from the WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and write down the corresponding score.

YOUR SCORE:

0-7: You are within the responsible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.

More than 8: Mention harmful or dangerous drinking.

8-15: Average risk level. If you drink at your current level, you risk developing problems with your health and your life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider decreasing (see below for tips).

16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own can be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counselor.

20 years and older: Possible dependence. Your alcohol use is already causing problems and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reducing your drinking. You should seek professional help to determine your dependence and the safest way to quit alcohol.

Severe dependence may require medically assisted withdrawal or detox in a hospital or specialist clinic. This is due to the potential for severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours requiring specialist treatment.

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