January 21, 2019
Toasting with white wine

Alcohol: The Cancer Connection

by Berkeley Wellness  

It’s well known that alcohol increases the risk of a number of cancers, especially at higher intakes. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) classifies alcohol as a human carcinogen. This was supported by a Harvard analysis of 135,000 nurses and other health professionals, published in BMJ in 2015. It found that over the course of two or three decades, heavy alcohol intake increased the risk of esophageal, oral, liver, colorectal, and breast cancers. Light to moderate drinking was associated with a “minimally” increased cancer risk overall—for women, this was mostly breast cancer; for men the increased risk was seen only in smokers. To put the risk of breast cancer in perspective, see Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk.