Women are drinking more these days than earlier. Wines, beers, cocktails, and champagne are forming a fine cuisine in complimentary with other food stuff, equally for both the genders. It is long known that drinking excessively causes many health issues both in men and women. But the other sad truth is that regular alcohol intake also poses a risk of cancer, which is high in women than in men. Women who are abusers of alcohol are at a significant risk of developing certain cancers, irrespective of a coupled smoking. Breast cancer is most likely to develop with habitual drinking while the other possible cancers include those of liver, bowel, esophagus, mouth, throat, larynx, colon and rectum. Liver damage called cirrhoses occurs with lots of boozing, which makes it more likely for liver cancer.
How alcohol causes cancer?
Alcohol is nothing but ethanol which when metabolized produces acetaldehyde, both of which are carcinogenic. The ethanol increases the estrogen hormone levels, which is a factor for the breast cancer development.
Some statistics on cancers with alcohol
Alcohol is confirmed to be a carcinogenic agent. Women who drink on a daily basis, however little, are at 13% higher risk of developing cancers over those who do not drink. In 2012, alcohol consumption accounted for 5.5% of all cases of cancer reported globally. The risk of breast cancer is 40-50% high with each glass of wine when the daily dose is 7 to 8 glasses. This toll can go higher if the bad trend continues upwards.
Who are at higher risk?
The risk of cancer is significantly high in women than in men with similar levels of alcohol consumption. Your genetic makeover also influences the amount of acetaldehyde produced from the alcohol consumed. A family history of cancer can make you more susceptible to cancer with drinking; it is recommended to limit or completely abstain from drinking by such women. Women who are non-smokers but regularly drink alcohol are at equal risk for developing breast cancer like those women who smoke and drink. This is because smoking is not related to breast cancer.
A woman’s age can impact her attitude for drinking. Younger women are more concerned of getting breast cancer over older women.
What should you do?
A persistent question heard from many people is if there is any safe consumption level. Unfortunately, there is no safe level of drinking, but limiting your drinking can lower the risk. It is the quantity of alcohol you consume that indicates your risk of cancer. It doesn’t make a difference whether you drink less often but heavily or spread it in small quantities over a week. It is wise to moderate your drinking. Light to moderate drinking for women is up to 10 grams of pure alcohol per day while for men it is 20 grams per day.
Smoking can multiply the risk of certain cancers. So, if you can quit smoking, you can lower the risk of alcohol on such cancers.
It’s time you realize how thoughtlessly you are putting your bodies at risk and that this should be changed at least by now. Save yourself from the trauma by giving up alcohol. If you have a second thought of choosing a safer alcoholic beverage type, then here’s a word of caution! It is the ethanol which is the actual culprit but not the other components of the beverages. The risk of cancer is same with all types of alcoholic beverages!