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Alcohol and Cancer

You are probably aware of the fact that the use of alcohol contributes to and causes several different health problems. What you may not be aware of is that alcohol use can increase your risk of cancer.

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You may ask, “How does alcohol increase my risk of getting cancer?” While the specific way that alcohol increases your risk for cancer is not completely understood, there may be several ways that your risk is increased, which may depend on the type of cancer.

Those who consume alcohol heavily often do not get enough nutrients in their diet. One of these is folate. Low levels of folate may play a part in your risk for colorectal and breast cancer.

Consuming alcohol can play a part in causing you to become obese or overweight. Being obese or overweight increases your risk for several forms of cancer.

Acts as a solvent

Alcohol may function as a solvent, which helps other harmful chemicals in your body like those contained in tobacco smoke. This may be why the combination of drinking and smoking is far more likely to cause throat or mouth cancers than drinking or smoking by itself. Alcohol may also work to slow the ability of your body to break down and get rid of other hurtful chemicals.

Alcohol consumption may raise your body’s level of estrogen, which is an important hormone in the development and growth of breast tissue. This may effect a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

Alcohol may cause damage to your body’s tissues. For example, bacteria can convert alcohol into large amounts of acetaldehyde in your rectum and colon. Acetaldehyde is a chemical that has caused cancer in lab animals. Alcohol and its byproducts can directly damage your liver by producing scarring and inflammation. Mistakes can be acquired in the cells of your liver when they try to repair the damage. When this takes place, it can be a step in the process that results in cancer.

Amount of alcohol

Another question that you may have is, “Does the kind of alcohol that I drink make a difference?” The most important factor for raising your risk of cancer from consuming alcohol seems to be the amount of alcohol you drink over time, rather than the kind of alcoholic beverage you drink.

The reason for this is because ethanol is the kind of alcohol that is contained in alcoholic drinks. This is true regardless of whether you drink wines, beers or liquors (distilled spirits), and most of the evidence suggests that it is the ethanol itself that raises your risk for cancer, not the other things that are contained in your drink.

There are several kinds of cancer that have been linked to the consumption of alcohol. These include:

Liver cancer
Breast cancer
Mouth cancer
Throat cancer (pharynx)
Esophageal cancer that involves your esophagus
Colorectal cancer that involves your rectum and colon
Voice box cancer (larynx).

The more alcohol you consume, the more your risk is increased for getting each one of these types of cancer.

While your cancer may not be related to the use of alcohol, if you believe another person or party is responsible for your cancer, you really ought to see a personal injury  attorney and let him or her evaluate your case.
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