Today’s Health Tip ~ Does Alcohol Cause Cancer?

The Less You Drink the Better

We know that alcohol increases the risk for several cancers, including oral cancer, pharynx and larynx cancers, colorectal and esophageal cancers, as well as liver and breast cancers.

How does drinking alcohol increase a person’s cancer risk?

There are many ways in which alcohol can increase a person’s risk of cancer:

    • The ethanol in alcoholic drinks breaks down to acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen. This compound damages DNA and stops our cells from repairing the damage. This can allow cancerous cells to grow.
    • Alcohol can affect levels of hormones like estrogen. These hormones act as messengers that tell our cells to grow and divide. The more cells divide, the more chances there are for something to go wrong and for cancer to develop.
    • Alcohol makes the body less able to break down and absorb several important nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, E, and folate. These nutrients help protect the body against cancer.
    • The important thing to remember is that every time you drink, you increase your cancer risk. As with cigarettes and processed meat, there is no safe amount of alcohol.


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