Your Health: The link between alcohol and cancer

Many Americans are unaware that alcohol and cancer are linked.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - When the COVID pandemic hit, sales of wine, beer and liquor surged in the United States.

Many Americans are unaware that alcohol and cancer are linked.

In fact, one survey revealed fewer than a third of adults recognized alcohol as a cancer risk factor. Yet alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of cancer, behind tobacco and obesity. And, another recent study found one in eight cases of breast cancer and one in 10 cases of colorectal and liver cancers are attributed to alcohol use.

“Yes, colon cancer incidence is on the rise in young patients,” said Dr. Kanthi Yalamanchili. “Certainly, tobacco use is a big factor, alcohol is also a big factor.”

Several health organizations - including the American Society of Clinical Oncology - have called for the federal government to add a cancer warning to alcohol labels. And, the American Cancer Society has recently issued new guidelines that warn there’s no safe level of alcohol consumption for cancer prevention.

Those who do choose to drink should limit their intake to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Helping you limit your alcohol consumption and cut your risk of cancer.

Earlier this year, the European Union announced that it planned to place new health warnings on alcohol and explore taxes and restrictions on the marketing of alcoholic beverages as part of a plan to reduce cancer rates. According to the New York Times, Europe has some of the highest levels of drinking in the world.

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