Alcohol is the prime reason behind accidents across the world. The intoxicating effect experienced by its user comes with a price. It incapacitates a person and makes him vulnerable to accidents. The cognitive impairment leads to risk driving and accidents. Alcohol has negative effects on one’s health. Research has established a link between alcohol and cancer. Here are some important facts regarding alcohol consumption and the possibility of developing cancer for it.
Alcohol has increased mortality rates
Studies show that around 4% of all the deaths reported around the world is caused due to drunk driving and around 5% of diseases are caused due to alcohol consumption. Alcohol users had a significantly higher risk of dying from cancer than non-alcoholics.
Evidence suggests that alcohol consumption can cause cancer
Research studies show a strong connection between alcohol consumption and the risk of certain types of cancer. The risk of developing alcohol related cancer is high among alcoholics. Cancer of the head, neck and oral cavity is common among alcohol consumers. Esophageal cancer is found in alcoholics and this risk is more in alcoholics who have inherited a deficiency of alcohol absorbing enzyme. Drinking is the primary reason for liver cancer. The risk of breast cancer increases with alcohol intake. Colon and rectal cancers are also related to alcoholism.
There are factors which increase cancer risk among alcoholics
When a person consumes alcohol, the body breaks it down into acetaldehyde which is a carcinogen. Acetaldehyde destroys DNAs and proteins in the body which makes a person vulnerable to cancer. Alcohol consumption can cause oxidation to occur in the body which can damage DNA, fats and proteins. Alcohol can incapacitate a body’s ability to absorb many nutrients that can help fight cancer cells. Apart from these, alcoholic beverages contain several carcinogens.
The combination of alcohol and tobacco can also increase cancer risk
People who consume both tobacco and alcohol have a greater risk of developing cancers of the throat, oral cavity, esophagus and larynx than those who use only one of the two. The risk is tri-fold than those who consume just one of the two.
Genetic makeup also determines the risk of alcohol related cancer
People of Chinese and Korean origin have an enzyme that speeds the breaking down of alcohol to carcinogenic substance called acetaldehyde. When these people consume alcohol, the build-up of acetaldehyde is more and hence, they are at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Red wine may help in preventing cancer
Resveratol, an anticancer property that is present in red wine is believed to prevent cancer from developing. This anticancer property is also found in grapes, peanuts and raspberries. Clinical studies have yet not established a conclusive evidence that resveratrol can help in treating cancer.
Cancer risk is not immediately reduced when one stops drinking
Studies have been performed to see an immediate reduction in cancer risk of the head, neck and esophageal cancer when drinking is stopped. The conclusion is that the risk will reduce only after many years once a person abstains from alcohol.
Consuming alcohol is not good while on chemotherapy
Though consuming small amounts of alcohol during chemotherapy and radiation is fine, it can get in the way of other chemotherapy drugs used for treatment. Certain chemotherapy drugs will have serious reaction when alcohol is taken or the consumption can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea because of chemotherapy can lead to dehydration and alcohol will further worsen this. Alcohol should not be taken if you are undergoing chemotherapy to treat liver cancer.
- Alcohol consumption can cause drunk driving and accidents.
- Alcohol induced diseases are now on the rise.
- Deaths caused due to alcohol have risen over the years.
- Alcoholics have a greater risk of developing cancer.
- The enzyme that breaks down alcohol converts it into a carcinogen.
- Alcohol and tobacco when used together is a sure shot recipe for cancer.
- Those of Japanese and Korean origin have high risk of getting alcohol related cancer.
- Resveratol, an anticancer agent in red wine and grapes, may prevent cancer.
- It takes many years for the risk to reduce since one stops drinking.
- Alcohol can interfere with the chemotherapy drugs and can cause reaction and reduce its effectiveness.
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