Oncologists Draw Links Between Heavy Drinkers and Cancer

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“If you don’t drink, don’t start.”

This quote comes from Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is the lead author of a statement recently put together by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in the Journal of Clinical Oncology about the ties between alcohol and the risks of cancer. The New York Times reported on the statement citing that those imbibing in a large amount of alcohol faced greater risks “of mouth and throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer and, to a lesser extent, colorectal cancers.” The ASCO defines heavy drinking as “eight or more drinks per week or three or more drinks per day for women, and as many as fifteen or more drinks per week or four or more drinks per day for men.”

4,016 adults were asked about risk factors for cancers, and less than 1 out of 3 brought up alcohol consumption. 

The doctors’ group that published the statement hopes there’s a new public push to downsize the advertising of alcohol to minors and even new taxes on booze. 

LoConte also told the Times people who do drink alcohol don’t have to totally stop, although that’d be the smartest move, but that “If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less.” Also saying, “It’s different than tobacco where we say, ‘Never smoke. Don’t start.’ This is a little more subtle.”

Read the entire American Society of Clinical Oncology statement here.