Friday, September 28, 2007

Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?

ScienceDaily: Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?
More bad news for those of us who occasionally like to imbibe.

"...According to CAMH Principal Investigator Dr. J├╝rgen Rehm, existing research consistently shows a relationship between alcohol consumption and an increased risk for cancer of the esophagus, larynx and oral cavity...
  • The risk of esophageal cancer nearly doubled in the first two years following alcohol cessation, a sharp increase that may be due to the fact that some people only stop drinking when they are already experiencing disease symptoms. However, risk then decreased rapidly and significantly after longer periods of abstention.
  • Risk of head and neck cancer only reduced significantly after 10 years of cessation.
  • After more than 20 years of alcohol cessation, the risks for both cancers were similar to those seen in people who never drank alcohol.
Dr. Rehm notes that more research is needed on the effects of alcohol cessation on other types of cancer -- especially breast, liver and colorectal cancers, for which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified alcohol as carcinogenic -- and on the effects of alcohol type, drinking patterns, and the joint effects of smoking and alcohol cessation on the risk of cancer."

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