Moderate alcohol use linked to a higher risk of cancer: WHO study

According to a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO), moderate alcohol use is associated with a substantially high risk of several types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and oral cancers.

The study was released in Lancet Oncology.

“Alcohol causes cancer in numerous ways,” said one co-author of the study in a news release.

“The main mechanism of how alcohol causes cancer is through impairing DNA repair. Additional pathways include chronic alcohol consumption resulting in liver cirrhosis, and alcohol leading to a dysregulation of sex hormones, leading to breast cancer. Alcohol also increases the risk of head and neck cancer for smokers as it increases the absorption of carcinogens from tobacco.”

“The consequences with alcohol use are often subtle harms initially that take time to show themselves, while long-term consequences such as cancer, liver disease and substance use disorder can be devastating,” explained another co-author of the study.

The WHO report can be read by clicking here.

Image courtesy of Getty Images
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