Dr. Paolo Boffetta - How Does Heavy Alcohol Consumption Induce Cancer

Dr. Paolo Boffetta – How Does Heavy Alcohol Consumption Induce Cancer


Cancer is a deadly condition that most people across the world face. It is mentally, physically, and emotionally very hard for anyone to battle with cancer. The condition takes a toll not only on the person afflicted with it but also on his/her loved ones. The unfortunate reality is cancer is on the rise, and one of its most common causes are negative lifestyle addictions like alcohol consumption and smoking.

Dr. Paolo Boffetta – Alcohol consumption should be stopped to prevent cancer

Dr. Paolo Boffetta is an Italian epidemiologist currently involved deeply with cancer research. He is based in New York in the USA and is a leading name in spreading awareness and education on cancer causes and risks. He says that many people are aware that heavy alcohol consumption causes health issues; however, only a handful know that alcohol increases the risks of getting cancer too.

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Alcohol consumption has been associated with cancers of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), breast, rectum and colon, liver, and esophagus. The consumption of alcohol increases the chances of stomach and pancreatic cancers too. For each of the above cancers, the more alcohol one drinks the higher its risks for cancer.

A deeper insight into how alcohol causes cancer

The following is a brief insight into how heavy drinking can induce the following cancers-

1. Cancer of the voice box, throat, esophagus, and mouth- If you are a heavy drinker, the possibility of acquiring these cancers is high. People smoke and drink together most of the time, so the risks of getting cancer doubles over just smoking and drinking alone. The reason being harmful chemicals present in alcohol and cigarettes enter the cells of the body and line the throat, mouth, and esophagus. Alcohol reduces the cells’ ability to repair itself, and the damage is caused to the DNA in the cell leading to cancer.

2. Liver cancer- If one drinks alcohol heavily for an extended period of time, liver cancer risks increase. It leads to scarring and inflammation and subsequently, cancer.

3. Cancer of the colon and rectal- High alcohol consumption causes cancer of the colon and rectum, especially in men. However, women are not completely free from cancer, as studies in the field have proved the same.

4. Breast cancer- Even if women have just a few drinks in a week, chances of breast cancer increase. The risks are high for women who do not get sufficient folate (a type of Vitamin B) in their daily diet or through supplements. Alcohol consumption increases estrogen in the body leading to a rise in the risk for breast cancer. Women should abstain from alcohol consumption to prevent getting breast cancer in the future.

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In the opinion of Dr. Paolo Boffetta, it is not the type of alcohol that matters. The habit of consuming high levels of alcohol for a prolonged period increases the risk of the above cancers. One should immediately control or better stop alcohol consumption from staying free and away from any kind of these painful and deadly cancers!

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