'Alcohol increases risk of cancer'
Sat, 09 Apr 2011 07:11:25 GMT
About 10 percent of all cancers cases in men and 3 percent in women in western European countries are associated with drinking too much alcohol, a study shows.
A major European study showed that drinking more than a pint of beer or a glass of wine a day can significantly increase the risk of some cancers. However, in some people even a small consumption may increase the risk.
The new findings were based on analysis of the data from eight European countries between 1992 and 2000. The research which is part of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer involved more than 360,000 men and women aged between 35 and 70 at the beginning of the study.
According to the results, about 17 percent of bowel cancers in men were linked to drinking, as were 4 per cent of cases in women. In addition, 5 percent of breast cancer that occurred in women was also associated with drinking.
In average, more than 18 percent of cancers in men were related to consuming more than 24 gram of alcohol a day while in women, 4 percent of cancers were due to drinking more than 12 gram of alcohol daily, researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
“This research supports existing evidence that alcohol causes cancer and that the risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts,” said Naomi Allen, a study author from Oxford University.
“The results from this study reflect the impact of people's drinking habits about 10 years ago. People are drinking even more now, and this could lead to more people developing cancer because of alcohol in the future,” she added.
Men and women in Germany, Denmark and the UK were most likely to exceed recommended alcohol intake guidelines, which also looked at people in France, Italy, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands.
“We recommend that to reduce the risk of developing cancer, people should try to avoid or limit their intake of alcohol,” said Dr. Sinead Walsh, research officer.