Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Increases Cancer Risk

bmjalccancFor years, people have been told that a glass of wine a day could have health benefits. Based off of minimal research, the press and some in the medical community agreed that drinking in moderation was ok. However, it has been determined that drinking, even in moderate amounts, can still lead to cancer.

The latest information published in the BMJ has come after much more research and investigation into the health risks and behaviors of those who consume alcohol. Researchers hope that this information will be replaced with the common misconceptions that small amounts of alcohol are healthy and prevent medical problems.

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital came together to interpret data taken from almost 130,000 participants. They monitored the health histories of men and women who drank varying amounts of alcohol. The researchers were not surprised that those who drank large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis were more likely to develop health problems such as colon, breast and oral cancer.

What was surprising, however, was that even those who drank more moderate amounts of alcohol were still likely to suffer from the same complications as heavy drinkers. Women who have one drink a day are 13% more likely to develop cancer than those who do not drink daily. Additionally, the chances grew exponentially for those who smoked, even after quitting.

This information is useful because drinking is common in many social settings. There are other studies that show people who consume alcohol in social settings often drink alone as they get older. Because older adults face more health concerns due to the normal aging process, they are at an even greater risk when they drink alcohol every day.

Hopefully more health practitioners will heed this latest research and warn people about even moderate amounts of daily alcohol consumption.