According to a study, even moderate consumption of alcohol might greatly raise the risk of dying from cancer. The study, released on Thursday, offered the first inclusive update of alcohol-related cancer deaths in years.
The studies lead author, David Nelson, the director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute said, “People don’t talk about the issue of alcohol and cancer risk.”
It has been known for a long time that alcohol is related to cancer causation. However, although there is a lot of talk about preventing cancer, tests and screenings, this issue seems to be missing.
According to his study, the consumption of alcohol accounts for around 3.5% of all American deaths from cancer annually. The majority of these deaths appear to happen among people who drink over three beverages containing alcohol each day; however, for those consuming 1.5 beverages daily might account for up to one third of the deaths.
According to researchers, in 2009 between 18,000 – 21,000 people in the U.S. died from cancers related to alcohol, from liver cancer to breast cancer, and other types. This number is more than the amount of people in the U.S. who die annually from ovarian cancer (14,000 in 2009), or melanoma (9,000 in 2009).
The study made note that it is not completely understood why alcohol consumption contributes to certain cancers. Research completed in the past found that it works in different ways to increase the risk. Such as acting as a mode to assist chemicals in tobacco to enter the digestive tract, and having an affect on levels of estrogen in women.