Drinking Alcohol Even In Moderation Is Linked To 7 Cancers So... That Sucks

by Talia Koren

I hate to be the bearer of bad news just in time for the weekend, but apparently, alcohol is linked to seven different types of cancer.

Here's the skinny. A recent study done in New Zealand determined a link between drinking alcohol and the development of cancer in the throat, liver, colon, breast, bowel, esophagus, larynx and mouth.

That's a lot of different places to get cancer. I promise there's a silver lining, but the evidence does get worse.

Dr. Jennie Connor, one of the authors of the report, estimated that alcohol is linked to deadly cancer for about half a million people in 2012, as well as 5.8 percent of cancer deaths all over the world. She also said that these seven parts of the body aren't the only ones at risk of cancer development because of alcohol.

Just because you drink a lot now doesn't mean your risk will always be high, though. Based on the research, where they evaluated reviews from agencies like The Wolrd Cancer Research Fund from the last decade, the risk of cancer decreases after people stop drinking.

I know what you might be thinking: "I only drink a glass of wine once in awhile, so I'm fine, right?" Nope. Even if your drinking is low to moderate, you're still at risk. But the more you drink, the higher risk you face. And no, even though wine does have some health benefits, it's not necessarily safer than liquor or beer.

OK, that's enough bad news for a Friday afternoon. Here's the silver lining: We don't really know exactly why alcohol and cancer are linked. Just because the research showed that there were more cancer-related deaths for those who consumed alcohol doesn't actually mean it's the cause.

Also, people tend to be off when it comes to judging how much they actually drink. As in, the researchers have a hunch that people say they drink less than they actually do. So it's possible that in reality, you drink a lower amount than the people in these studies and are putting yourself less at risk.

Regardless, you'll probably find me in a bar tonight enjoying overpriced alcoholic beverages and not thinking about this study at all. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Citations: Bad news, boozers: Alcohol linked to seven deadly cancers (NY Daily News)