Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

New Report: No Amount of Alcohol is Safe!

alcohol 2In the past few years we have heard about the benefits of having a little alcohol (e.g., red wine), but a new report says the downside of alcohol outweighs the benefits. And certainly we know how easily alcohol can be abused. But you may be surprised to hear about the link of alcohol usage to cancer.

A 2014 World Cancer Report (WCR) issued by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to cancer risk. In fact, in 1988 the IARC declared alcohol a carcinogen (ethanol being one of the most important carcinogens) because of its relationship to several cancers.

The report further stated that the more alcohol one drinks, the more at risk a person is to develop cancer. Specifically there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, liver and female breast. Pancreatic cancer and alcohol consumption have a significant relationship as well. And others links have been found with leukemia, multiple myeloma, cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and skin. Those links need more study.

When it comes to light drinking, the conclusions are dismal as well. A meta-analysis of 222 studies that included 92,000 light drinkers and 60,000 nondrinkers showed risk for oropharyngeal cancer, esophageal sqamous cell carcinoma and female breast cancer. But note that these data are  based on peoples’ self-report of drinking, which we know tends to be under reported when asked about alcohol use. This might means that “light” drinkers could actually be moderate drinkers.

Add smoking to the drinking and you have a dangerous combination.

So you might be thinking more about the cardioprotective effect we hear so much about with light and moderate drinking. If you look carefully at those studies, you see that the light to moderate drinking lowers your risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart failure compared to excessive consumption.  And the pattern of light to moderate drinking has to be consistent, not episodic, or “binge” drinking. This is not exactly a pass for light to moderate drinking.

Bottom line: Alcohol has more negative than positive effects. You can lower your risk by drinking less or not at all. The results of the study do not support any guidelines for safe drinking.

 

 

Source: Rehm J, Shield K. Alcohol consumption. In: Stewart BW, Wild CB, eds. World Cancer Report 2014. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014.

Previous Posts

8 Questions: Are You A Hard Worker or Workalholic?
In the same way a drug addict uses cocaine or an alcoholic downs booze, work can have an anesthetizing effect on negative emotions. People use work to escape and avoid unpleasant emotional states. But because hard work is so sanctioned in our society, it is an addiction often minimized. Our once

posted 6:00:40am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Breaking the Mental Habit of Worry
Because worry is in the mind, it is a mental habit that must be broken. Here are a few practical tips to help break the worry habit: Identify the thought behind the worried or anxious feeling. Let it come and don’t try to suppress it with thoughts like, “Stop worrying” “Don’t do this

posted 6:00:40am Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Hurt By a Conflict? How Do You ReBuild Trust?
You've heard the saying, trust is easy to break, hard to repair. How do you go about building trust with someone you’ve hurt! The key is to know the other person’s world and reliably respond to it. Do what you say. Keep your promises. Empathize with the other person’s issue and try to see t

posted 6:00:39am Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Should You Keep Secrets From Your Partner?
I was in the grocery store yesterday, and the tabloids were headlining the secret love child of yet another celebrity couple. Even though we tend to expect this sort of thing from celebrity relationships, secrets are a problem. They don’t usually end well. I am often asked if it is a good idea

posted 6:00:53am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

What's Your Attachment Style in Conflict?
We all develop an insecure or secure bond with our original families. That bond is referred to as an attachment style. The more secure the bond, the better you will deal with conflict. Two bonding styles make conflict difficult--anxious and avoidant. To feel more secure you want to lower your an

posted 6:00:47am Mar. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.