Saturday, November 11, 2017

Few people recognize alcohol as a cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 10, 2017 – Alcohol use increases the risk of breast, colon, esophageal and oral cancers according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) the largest organization of cancer doctors in the world.

More worrisome to the doctors were results of its National Cancer Opinion Survey they conducted earlier this year that showed 70 percent of Americans do not recognize drinking alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.
“People typically don’t associate drinking beer, wine, and hard liquor with increasing their risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes,” said ASCO President Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO. “However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established and gives the medical community guidance on how to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer.”

The results of the survey released at the end of October found that only 38 percent of Americans limit their alcohol intake to reduce their risk of cancer. The survey of 4,016 adults was conducted online by Harris Poll in mid July.

ASCO cited research showing the between 5 percent and 6 percent of new cancers and cancer deaths globally can be attributed to alcohol. Based on a review of more than 150 studies, the organization determine that even small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of cancer and that the risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

In an effort to raise awareness of the risk, ASCO issued a series of policy recommendations aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in its Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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