Alcohol has never been considered good for health. Heavy drinking can cause health problems. But many might not know that drinking alcohol can raise their risk of getting cancer. This is proven scientifically.
How Alcohol can cause cancer:
- Damages Cell – When you drink, the alcohol in your body is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. This can damage your DNA and stop your cells from repairing that damage, which can lead to cancer.
- Affects hormones – Alcohol can increase the levels of some hormones in the blood, such as oestrogen, which is linked to breast cancer.
- Folate and other nutrients – Alcohol drinkers tend to have lower levels of folate, an important vitamin that helps our cells produce new DNA correctly. Studies suggest that cancer is more common in people with low levels of folate in their blood.
- Increases damage from tobacco – Drinking and smoking together raises the risk of cancer even more than drinking or smoking alone. This might be because alcohol can help harmful chemicals in tobacco get inside the cells that line the mouth, throat and oesophagus.
Alcohol can cause at least seven types of cancer as per studies:
- Throat (pharynx)
- Voice box (larynx)
- Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and Oesophagus: Alcohol use definitely raises the risk of these cancers. Combining alcohol with smoking proves even more dangerous.
- Liver cancer: Long-term alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer. Regular, heavy alcohol use can damage the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring.
- Colon and rectal cancer: Alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence for this is stronger in men than in women.
- Breast cancer: Even a few drinks a week is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. This risk may be especially high in women who do not get enough folate in their diet or through supplements.
Apart from cancer, heavy drinking also causes heart disease, stroke, form of alcohol does not matter, beer, spirits or wine – they all put our long-term health at risk. The more you drink, the greater the risk of developing cancer. It is advised that one should not drink more than 14 units a week to keep health risks from alcohol low. If you do choose to drink, it is best to spread your drinks evenly throughout the week.
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