Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Alcohol and Cancer

According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, alcohol in all forms — beer, liquor and wine — decrease your immune system’s ability to root out cancer cells early. Cutting back is a bona fide way to make cancer less likely (and a lot less likely if you have four or more drinks per day).

Past research has linked alcohol to cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast. And if you develop cancer, maybe you should reduce your drinks from one per day to one per week: “Even as little as one drink per day seems to be associated with breast cancer, and the more you drink, the higher your risk,” says Halle Moore, MD, a breast cancer oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Three or more drinks per week boost the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 30 percent, and overweight and postmenopausal women may be particularly at risk.
So if you are particularly at risk for cancer or a cancer recurrence, you might say to heck with alcohol for heart and blood vessel benefit, and go for the lowest cancer risk. According to Jill Dietz, MD, a breast cancer surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, “To keep your breast cancer risk low, cap your cocktails at one or two a week.”

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