Understanding link between alcohol and cancer

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 3:19 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A recent study by the University of Virginia Cancer Center suggests that less than half of Americans understand that drinking alcohol increases your risk for cancer.

“We know exercise, we know diet, we know to not use tobacco or to try to quit if you ar. So those are the ones we hear about a lot, but I hadn’t heard about alcohol,” Kara Wiseman, assistant professor at the UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health said. “You’re told about the risk of traffic accidents or getting hurt. People are pretty aware of what can happen if you consume so that your cognitive function is reduced, or people know that alcoholism has negative health impacts, but I just don’t think it’s something that’s talked about as often.”

Alcohol can increase the risk of seven cancers, including breast, mouth, and colon.

The more you drink, the higher risk.

“Especially for the breast cancer link, where even just one drink a day can increase your risk of breast cancer,” Wiseman said.

The same study also suggests most people would be in favor of adding a cancer warning label to alcohol products.

“We already have some warning labels on alcohol products, right? So, there’s a warning about pregnancy, or there’s a warning about using heavy machinery and driving. So what would be the right kind of message is still research to be determined,” Wiseman said.

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