Oral cancer and colorectal cancer from alcohol

Oral cancer and colorectal cancer from alcohol

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Which types of cancer have alcohol benefits?

Regular consumption of alcohol increases the risk of at least seven cancers. These include oral cancer, throat cancer or liver cancer. This was the result of a study by the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

In their current study, the scientists of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) found that alcohol consumption favors the development of seven types of cancer. The researchers published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Clinical Oncology".

Alcohol consumption is common

Many people drink alcohol on different occasions. This can be, for example, the typical after-work beer, a glass of wine with your partner or a cocktail in a bar at the weekend. There is often only a limited awareness of risk here. In particular, the risk of cancer from regular alcohol consumption is often underestimated.

The more alcohol, the higher the risk of cancer

Of course, the amount and regularity of consumption play a crucial role. Nevertheless, so-called casual drinkers and alcoholics share certain health risks from drinking alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol consumed can increase the likelihood of developing cancer. The more alcohol people consume, the higher the risk of developing cancer.

73 percent of Americans drink alcohol

In a 2013 survey, about 73 percent of all Americans reported drinking alcohol. At that time, almost 13 percent of the participants stated that they regularly drink until they get intoxicated (colloquially known as “coma booze” or in English-speaking countries as binge drinking).

The survey also showed that alcohol consumption skyrocketed between 2001 and 2002. Alcohol consumption in general had risen by around 11 percent. High-risk drinking had increased by 30 percent and there were 50 percent more people with a so-called drinking problem. The ASCO experts see the current results as a warning to all alcohol users, many of whom are not only in America.

People should generally drink less alcohol

ASCO estimates that five percent of cancers and fatalities today are probably due to alcohol consumption. And the observed trend is unfortunately increasing.

The results of the study make it clear that the risk of developing cancer in seven different types could be reduced if people cut back on alcohol consumption, or even better stop it altogether, the research team explains.

What types of cancer have been shown to benefit from alcohol consumption?

For some types of cancer, it has been shown that there is a strong link between alcohol consumption and the development of cancer. Even small and medium amounts of alcohol can lead to cancer.

The proven cancers favored by alcohol included oral cancer, throat cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer and colon cancer. There could also be a connection between the consumption of alcohol and other types of cancer, but the current study did not provide any definitive evidence for this, the researchers report.

The goal is responsible and controlled handling of alcohol

Alcohol consumption is a health hazard. This is especially true if there is an increased risk of developing cancer due to genetic factors, previous illnesses, improper nutrition or smoking.

Although there are quite a few people who drink too much alcohol, a general ban on alcohol would not be successful, according to the researchers. Instead, more education is needed so that hopefully people will use alcohol more responsibly in the future, according to the ASCO statement. Responsible and controlled handling of alcohol must be the goal.

Does alcohol only lead to cancer when mixed with other drinks?

Some older studies have already shown a link between alcohol and cancer. However, the idea was that the alcohol consumed mixed with other beverage components could have led to cancer. However, it is now clear that alcohol consumed can lead to cancer independently of other substances.

Other types of cancer could benefit from alcohol consumption

According to the researchers, not only parts of the body are affected by the increased risk of cancer that come into direct contact with alcohol, such as the mouth and throat. For example, the human liver can develop cancer as a result of alcohol-induced cirrhosis. This shows that there are other types of cancer that can result from consuming too much alcohol. (sb, as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Noelle K. LoConte, Abenaa M. Brewster, Judith S. Kaur, Janette K. Merrill, Anthony J. Alberg: Alcohol and Cancer: A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; in: Journal of Clinical Oncology; Volume 36, No. 1, pages 83-93, January 2018, Journal of Clinical Oncology

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