To Cut Cancer Risk, Stop Drinking So Much

Sticking to advised limits would prevent thousands of cases
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 8, 2011 10:43 AM CDT
Alcohol causes thousands of preventable cancers yearly, a study finds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Drinking leads to at least 13,000 cases of cancer in Britain each year, a study finds—and thousands could be avoided if people would stick to alcohol guidelines. That UK-centric finding comes from a study that examined the tie between diet and cancer in eight European countries. Researchers discovered that among men, more than half of the cases of cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectum, and liver attributed to alcohol in 2008 resulted from having more than two drinks daily; in women, more than 80% resulted from having more than one drink per day, the Guardian reports.

"Many cancer cases could have been avoided if alcohol consumption is limited to two drinks per day in men and one drink per day in women," said one of the study's authors. "And even more cancer cases would be prevented if people reduced their alcohol intake to below recommended guidelines." Overall, the study found that drinking causes 10% of cancers in men and 3% in women in western Europe. And today’s alcohol-related cancer rates may be even higher, noted a researcher: “The results from this study reflect the impact of people's drinking habits about 10 years ago.”

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