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Even Light Drinking May Raise Cancer Risk, Doctors Warn

09 November 2017

The American Society of Clinical Oncologists have released a statement urging drink lovers to watch their alcohol consumption.

The latest review of the earlier studies on the connection between alcohol and cancer imparted in the Journal of Clinical Oncology discovered that around 3.5 percent of all cancer related deaths can be assigned to alcohol consumption.

"The role of alcohol drinking on outcomes in patients with cancer is in its formative stages, and ASCO can play a key role by generating a research agenda".

In addition, researchers said that in 2012, approximately 5.5 percent of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths globally could be attributed to drinking alcohol. Whether consumption is light, moderate, or heavy, alcohol causes cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck, the authors reported.

If a drinker stops consuming alcohol for 20 years or more, however, their risk of cancer reverts back to that of non-drinkers, according to the researchers' analysis.

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Many people may not recognize the link between alcohol and cancer, Ashton said, and thus may be missing out on an opportunity to lower cancer risk factors.

In a Tuesday statement, the group cited evidence that light drinking can even slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and increase the risk of a common esophageal cancer.

The group representing doctors has also called for new initiatives in public health to curb the use of alcohol from restrictions on ads that target minors to taxes.

A recent survey finds that 70% of Americans are unaware of how alcohol is linked to potential cancer.

"If you don't drink, there's no reason to start". The connection between rising alcohol intake and cancer has been substantially confirmed.

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ABC News' chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said that alcohol has been a known human carcinogen, or known to cause cancer, for a long time within the medical community.

Alcohol does not affect each part of the body in the same carcinogenic way, as Dr LoConte explained.

"The evidence is very clear", she said.

It "shows they're serious about it and willing to put their name on the line for changes in policy, and willing to say that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risks of some cancers to a small degree".

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Even Light Drinking May Raise Cancer Risk, Doctors Warn