Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Million Women Study Shows Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Associated With Increased Cancer Risk

Date:
February 26, 2009
Source:
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Summary:
Low to moderate alcohol consumption among women is associated with a statistically significant increase in cancer risk and may account for nearly 13 percent of the cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, and upper aero-digestive tract combined, according to a new report.

Low to moderate alcohol consumption among women is associated with a statistically significant increase in cancer risk and may account for nearly 13 percent of the cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, and upper aero-digestive tract combined.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dimitri Sherman

Low to moderate alcohol consumption among women is associated with a statistically significant increase in cancer risk and may account for nearly 13 percent of the cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, and upper aero-digestive tract combined, according to a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

With the exception of breast cancer, little has been known about the impact of low to moderate alcohol consumption on cancer risk in women.

To determine the impact of alcohol on overall and site-specific cancer risk, Naomi Allen, D.Phil., of the University of Oxford, U.K., and colleagues examined the association of alcohol consumption and cancer incidence in the Million Women Study, which included 1,280,296 middle-aged women in the United Kingdom. Participants were recruited to the study between 1996 and 2001. Researchers identified cancer cases through the National Health Service Central Registries.

Women in the study who drank alcohol consumed, on average, one drink per day, which is typical in most high-income countries such as the U.K. and the U.S. Very few drank three or more drinks per day. With an average follow-up time of more than 7 years, 68,775 women were diagnosed with cancer.

The risk of any type of cancer increased with increasing alcohol consumption, as did the risk of some specific types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, rectum, and liver. Women who also smoked had an increased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and larynx. The type of alcohol consumed--wine versus spirits or other types--did not alter the association between alcohol consumption and cancer risk.

Each additional alcoholic drink regularly consumed per day was associated with 11 additional breast cancers per 1000 women up to age 75; one additional cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx; one additional cancer of the rectum; and an increase of 0.7 each for esophageal, laryngeal, and liver cancers. For these cancers combined, there was an excess of about 15 cancers per 1000 women per drink per day. (The background incidence for these cancers was estimated to be 118 per 1000 women in developed countries.)

"Although the magnitude of the excess abso¬lute risk associated with one additional drink per day may appear small for some cancer sites, the high prevalence of moderate alco¬hol drinking among women in many populations means that the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol is an important public health issue," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Michael Lauer M.D., and Paul Sorlie, Ph.D., of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in Bethesda, M.D., emphasize that these new results derived from such a large study population should give readers pause. Although previous epidemiological studies have suggested that there is a cardiovascular benefit associated with moderate alcohol consumption, the excess cancer risk identified in the current study may outweigh that benefit. "From a standpoint of cancer risk, the message of this report could not be clearer. There is no level of alcohol consumption that can be considered safe," the editorialists write.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Allen N et al. Moderate Alcohol Intake and Cancer Incidence in Women. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2009;101: 296-305
  2. Michael Lauer and Paul Sorlie. Alcohol, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: Treat With Caution. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2009;101: 282-283

Cite This Page:

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Million Women Study Shows Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Associated With Increased Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163555.htm>.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (2009, February 26). Million Women Study Shows Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Associated With Increased Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163555.htm
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "Million Women Study Shows Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Associated With Increased Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224163555.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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