Health Headlines: Alcohol’s link to cancer

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Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 9:25 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - When the COVID pandemic hit, sales of wine, beer, and liquor surged in the US, but while drinking may help keep the edge off for some, research shows it’s not a good idea if you want to avoid cancer.

Many Americans don’t know that alcohol and cancer are linked. In fact, one survey revealed that fewer than a third of adults recognized it as a cancer risk factor. Yet, alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of cancer behind tobacco and obesity.

And, another recent study found that around 12.5% of breast cancer cases and 10% of colorectal and liver cancers are attributed to alcohol use.

Dr. Kanthi Yalamanchili is a gastroenterologist with Baylor Scott & White Grapevine who confirms its a growing issue, “Yes, colon cancer incidence is on the rise in young patients. 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 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.

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.