Canadian study links regular alcohol consumption to six cancers
FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A man who drinks moderate or high amounts of alcohol over the course of his life appears to raise his risk for developing certain -- but not all -- kinds of cancer, a new crunching of quarter-century-old research data suggests.
The study, by Canadian researchers, found that the more men drink, the greater their risk for specific cancers. However, the link appears to involve mostly beer and spirit consumption, not wine. The study did not explore risk among women.
"We found that with lifetime alcohol consumption, cancer risk among men increases for some of the 13 cancers we looked at," said study author Andrea Benedetti, an assistant professor in the departments of medicine and epidemiology, biostatistics and occupational health at McGill University in Montreal. "Those include esophageal, colon, stomach, liver, lung and prostate cancers."
"And we also found that ... those with the highest consumption had a quite higher risk increase for these cancers, relative to lower-consumption drinkers," Benedetti said. She worked on the study while a post-doctorate fellow at the University of Quebec.
A report on the findings has been published online in Cancer Detection and Prevention.
Associations between alcohol consumption and cancer have been the subject of much study, the researchers pointed out, with indications that alcohol could be the prime culprit in up to 5 percent of deaths from all cancers combined.
One recent study specifically revealed that heavy drinking in particular raises the risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer in men while undermining the effectiveness of the popular prostate cancer prevention drug finasteride (Proscar). Another study suggested that, among women, even moderate drinking might elevate risk for breast, liver and other cancers.
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