Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?

Date:
September 28, 2007
Source:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Summary:
Researchers have clarified the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of head and neck cancers, showing that people who stop drinking can significantly reduce their cancer risk. These results have important implications for tailoring alcohol policies and prevention strategies, especially for people with a family risk of cancer.

Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have clarified the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of head and neck cancers, showing that people who stop drinking can significantly reduce their cancer risk.

According to CAMH Principal Investigator Dr. Jόrgen Rehm, existing research consistently shows a relationship between alcohol consumption and an increased risk for cancer of the esophagus, larynx and oral cavity. Dr. Rehm and his team analyzed epidemiological literature from 1966 to 2006 to further investigate this association and their results, published in the September issue of the International Journal of Cancer, showed that:

  • The risk of esophageal cancer nearly doubled in the first two years following alcohol cessation, a sharp increase that may be due to the fact that some people only stop drinking when they are already experiencing disease symptoms. However, risk then decreased rapidly and significantly after longer periods of abstention.
  • Risk of head and neck cancer only reduced significantly after 10 years of cessation.
  • After more than 20 years of alcohol cessation, the risks for both cancers were similar to those seen in people who never drank alcohol.

These results have important implications for tailoring alcohol policies and prevention strategies, especially for people with a family risk of cancer.

Said Dr. Rehm, "Alcohol cessation has very similar effects on risk for head and neck cancers as smoking cessation has on lung cancer. It takes about two decades before the risk is back to the risk of those who were never drinkers or never smokers."

Alcohol is the 'drug of choice' for Canadians, with 60% of Ontario adults consuming alcohol on at least a monthly basis. The direct and indirect costs to society of alcohol abuse are substantial: $5.3 billion in Ontario alone, second only to the social burden of tobacco. This burden takes into effect the cardioprotective effects of alcohol, which, unlike its link to cancer, has received a great deal of public attention.

Dr. Rehm notes that more research is needed on the effects of alcohol cessation on other types of cancer -- especially breast, liver and colorectal cancers, for which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified alcohol as carcinogenic -- and on the effects of alcohol type, drinking patterns, and the joint effects of smoking and alcohol cessation on the risk of cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094722.htm>.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2007, September 28). Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094722.htm
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Alcohol And Cancer: Is Drinking The New Smoking?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094722.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins