In staying with this month's theme of cancer prevention, let's talk about alcohol. It's not good for you. We want to convince ourselves that one drink a day won't hurt us, but it might.
According to the World Health Organization, "alcohol increases the risk of (at least) six cancers.
After thoroughly reviewing studies from around the world, research shows that alcohol increases the risk of six cancers: colorectal, breast, esophageal, liver, stomach and oral (technically mouth, larynx and pharynx cancers).
For breast, colorectal, oral and stomach cancers, the increased risk is seen at even low levels of regular drinking. For liver and stomach cancer, increased risk starts at three alcoholic drinks per day.
For lower cancer risk, all types - yes, even red wine - pose risk.
The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks increase the risk of cancers has grown over the years. That list includes wine, beer, vodka and other hard liquors. The World Health Organization estimates that from 4 percent to approximately 25 percent of cancers are attributable to alcohol worldwide.
In 2012, approximately one in every 20 deaths worldwide was attributable to alcohol, according to the World Health Organization. That translates into approximately 412,500 individuals.
Alcohol is classified as a carcinogen. There are many types of alcohol substances, but the one in wine, beer and other beverages we drink is a type called ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Back in 1988, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified alcohol as a carcinogen, which means it has the potential to cause cancer."
The National Cancer Institute says: Researchers have identified multiple ways that alcohol may increase the risk of cancer, including:metabolizing (breaking down) ethanol in alcoholic drinks to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen; acetaldehyde can damage both DNA(the genetic material that makes up genes) and proteinsgenerating reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules that contain oxygen), which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids (fats) through a process called oxidationimpairing the body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients that may be associated with cancer risk, including vitamin A; nutrients in the vitamin B complex, such as folate; vitamin C; vitamin D; vitamin E; and carotenoidsincreasing blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone linked to the risk of breast cancer. Alcoholic beverages may also contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants that are introduced during fermentation and production, such as nitrosamines, asbestos fibers, phenols, and hydrocarbons.
Why do I post this information? Because I want you to be educated with what you put into your body. It's up to you whether or not you want to drink or not, but make an informed choice! Moderation, we've all heard it 1000 times, it's the key to life. If you're like me, you need facts to help you hold that key in your hand and not lose it. When I was done with all of my treatment my oncologist told me, if you drink-you will be back. If you smoke-you will be back. If you are heavy-you will be back. If you yoyo diet-you will be back. That advice really resonated with me, and I'm hoping some of this resonates with you or someone you love.