Alcohol has long been recognised as a carcinogenic substance, yet there is now ‘strong evidence’ that it causes seven cancers and potentially even more, according to a new study.
Jennie Connor, a researcher from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand, scoured through a plethora of pre-existing studies regarding alcohol and cancer, hoping to highlight alcohol’s malevolent role by ruling out other factors.
The author notes that alcohol-attributable cancers at these sites constitute up to 5.8 percent of cancer deaths worldwide. This means that in 2012, for example, around half a million people died through alcohol-induced cancers.
Dr Connor insist that although the link between alcohol and cancer is not news, she wanted to ‘clarify the strength of the evidence’ in an ‘accessible way.’
‘Currently, alcohol’s causal role is perceived to be more complex than tobacco‘s, and the solution suggested by the smoking analogy — that we should all reduce and eventually give up drinking alcohol — is widely unacceptable,’ writes Dr Connor.
Treatment for cancer is proving to be more successful year on year, but as these studies highlight, prevention should be considered a priority.