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Alcohol consumption increases risk of seven types of cancer, claim doctors

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Alcohol

On November 7, the nation's top oncologists released a statement through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to draw attention to the connection between alcohol and cancer risk.

Experts also found that drinking alcohol can have an adverse effect on treatment and outcomes for patients with cancer.

The CDC recommends that women have no more than one drink a day or eight drinks a week.

The doctors' group that published the statement hopes there's a new public push to downsize the advertising of alcohol to minors and even new taxes on booze.

"And if you don't drink, don't start, '" Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement, said to The New York Times.

The group warns that heavy drinkers have an increased risk of developing liver cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, colorectal cancers and cancer of the voicebox.

In a statement, the American Society of Clinical Oncology asked Americans to drink less alcohol. McTiernan is also on the advisory panel that oversees the work of the World Cancer Research Fund. "And in female breast cancer, (alcohol) affects the levels of female hormones in the body, and by adjusting the levels of estrogen in particular, it increases risk of breast cancer". ASCO recently did a survey and they found out that a large majority of physicians and patients were not aware of the association - this is also an opportunity to spread awareness.

"The story of alcohol has been quite consistent and has been peeled away like an onion over time, and we're continuing to learn more about the mechanisms involved", Dr. Gapstur said.

"If you don't drink, don't start", says Dr LoConte, and "if you do drink try to stay under the recommendations of 1 or less per day for women and 2 or less per day for men".

Alcohol is not the only important factor to consider when trying to reduce your cancer risk - your genes, exercise regimen, and exposure to pollutants can play a role, too. "Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer". The paper cites evidence tying light, moderate or heavy drinking to higher risk of common malignancies such as breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck cancers. Since there's evidence linking breast cancer to drinking, companies shouldn't be "exploiting the color pink" or using pink ribbons to show their support of breast cancer research, the authors said.

"That puts some weight behind this", she said.

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