Can Drinking Alcohol Increase The Risk of Cancer?

 Alcohol can cause cancer & increase cancer risk.

Abusing alcohol is undeniably dangerous to your health. Overloading your body with toxins is never a good idea, and the short-term and long-term negative side effects of binge drinking are too numerous to list. One danger of alcohol abuse that is impossible to ignore is the fact that drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing cancer.

What Kind of Cancers are Linked To Alcoholism?

Alcohol use and alcoholism have been linked to many different cancers, including mouth, throat, esophagus, breast, colon and liver cancer.

Mouth, Throat & Esophagus Cancers

There is a clear correlation between drinking alcohol and developing cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and voice box. This risk is made even more dramatic if you are drinking and smoking together. Alcohol helps the toxins found in tobacco get into the cells in your mouth, throat, and esophagus, while also limiting the cells ability to repair themselves.

Liver Cancer

Binge drinking and alcoholism do irreversible damage to the liver. If you drink enough alcohol over time, the liver can become inflamed and develop scars, which works to raise the risk of liver cancer.

Breast Cancer

While abusing alcohol can lead to a higher risk for cancer, even just a few drinks a week can make you more susceptible to breast cancer. Alcohol can raise estrogen levels in women, raising the risk for breast cancer, especially for women low in folate.

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Studies have found a strong correlation between rectal and colon cancer and alcohol use, with the connection especially strong in men. There is no obvious reason for the relationship, but studies have repeatedly shown that drinking more increases the risk for colon and rectal cancer.

How Does Alcohol Raise Your Cancer Risk?

Alcohol is a known carcinogenic; 5.8% of the world’s cancer can be attributed to drinking. Other factors that are associated with heavy drinking raising an individual’s risk of developing cancer include:        

  • Alcohol damages cells and tissues in the body, and when the cells repair themselves the DNA in the cell can change, leading to cancer.
  • Alcohol hurts the ability of the body to absorb essential nutrients and vitamins, which can lead to a higher cancer risk.
  • Alcohol makes the body weaker, making it easier for other harmful chemicals to enter the cells and cell linings.
  • Alcohol can cause a weight gain, and obesity increases the risk of cancer

Reduce Your Risk of Cancer By Getting Sober in San Diego

If you struggle with alcohol, seek out help. Avoid the risk of cancer and other health dangers by beating alcoholism and getting sober. The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research in San Diego offers alcohol treatment studies for those who want to quit drinking. If you are interested, give us a call at (858) 784-7867.