Navigation Links
Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?

September 26, 2007 (Toronto) - Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have clarified the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of head and neck cancers, showing that people who stop drinking can significantly reduce their cancer risk.

According to CAMH Principal Investigator Dr. Jrgen Rehm, existing research consistently shows a relationship between alcohol consumption and an increased risk for cancer of the esophagus, larynx and oral cavity. Dr. Rehm and his team analyzed epidemiological literature from 1966 to 2006 to further investigate this association and their results, published in the September issue of the International Journal of Cancer, showed that:

  • 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.

These results have important implications for tailoring alcohol policies and prevention strategies, especially for people with a family risk of cancer.

Said Dr. Rehm, Alcohol cessation has very similar effects on risk for head and neck cancers as smoking cessation has on lung cancer. It takes about two decades before the risk is back to the risk of those who were never drinkers or never smokers.

Alcohol is the drug of choice for Canadians, with 60% of Ontario adults consuming alcohol on at least a monthly basis. The direct and indirect costs to society of alcohol abuse are substantial: $5.3 billion in Ontario alone, second only to the social burden of tobacco. This burden takes into effect the cardioprotective effects of alcohol, which, unlike its link to cancer, has received a great deal of public attention.

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.


Contact: Michael Torres
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Related medicine news :

1. Alcohol shrinks brain
2. Maternal alcohol consumption linked to behavioral problems in children
3. Alcohol linked to brain activity
4. Drink alcohol for intelligence
5. Alcohol within the body
6. Alcoholism Drug Fails To Prevent Drinking Relapses
7. Alcoholics are prone to disability
8. Moderate alcohol consumption protects against dementia
9. Alcohol decreases risk of dementia
10. Tobacco and alcohol connected to larger health problems
11. Alcohol injures stress hormone response
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute today ... dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of these is ... together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at Milton ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating ... our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment ... day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final Cut ... Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, with ... users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all within ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer ... of an application server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite ... of these standards, the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As part of a global ... attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources to help create ... the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on November 6, 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: