New research underscores the need to drink responsibly. The American Society of Clinical Oncology reports alcohol causes more than 5 percent of cancers and cancer deaths and advises that drinking one or fewer drinks a day for women and two or fewer drinks a day for men greatly reduces the development of these cancers. Alcohol was especially closely associated with increased risks for esophageal, mouth, liver, colorectal and breast cancers. And, there is reportedly now enough evidence to suggest that alcohol is probably a cause of pancreatic, stomach and other cancers.
According to the study’s co-author Noelle LoConte, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, “For head and neck and esophageal cancers, alcohol’s breakdown product (acetaldehyde, which is an established carcinogen) touches the tissues directly as one swallows an alcoholic drink and causes cancer. [Alcohol] interferes with the absorption of folate, which is a critical step in the development of colon cancer.”
Liver cancer is caused by cirrhosis, which is, in turn, caused by drinking.