AICR’s evidence clearly and consistently shows that alcohol is linked to increased risk for several different cancers, which is why I was eager to attend the 17th Annual Alcohol Policy Conference near Washington DC.
In a session focusing on the alcohol-cancer link, Robert Pezzolesi, of the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance, led off by citing an AICR survey on the relatively low level of US awareness (43%) of the link between alcohol and cancer risk (below).
Linda Bauld of Cancer Research UK spotlighted the problems facing the UK, which is experiencing historically high levels of alcohol consumption. She cited a very low level of awareness of the alcohol-cancer link (13%) in the UK. This was the unprompted figure, when respondents were asked to volunteer various cancer risks. But when respondents were specifically asked if alcohol was related to cancer – a methodology similar to AICR’s US survey – 53% were able to identify alcohol as a risk. Continue reading
Three years ago, when studies appeared in the British medical journal The Lancet suggesting that low-dose aspirin intake was protective against cancer, we offered our take as a cancer prevention and education organization:
“AICR’s focus is on the relationships of diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight to cancer. As such, we take no position on the effect of aspirin — a drug — on cancer risk, although we of course watch this research with interest.”
We went on to wonder if other health experts would one day offer official advice to take aspirin daily for lower cancer risk.
Yesterday, in a draft statement, the US Preventive Services Task Force did just that for colorectal cancer.
The statement is not final; it’s the first step in a process whereby the Task Force seeks public input before it makes a final recommendation. In addition, the Task Force’s draft recommendation with respect to cancer risk is not a sweeping one — it limits itself to colorectal cancer, and only applies to adults aged 50 to 70. Continue reading
The evidence is stronger than ever that being overweight or obese increases the risk for kidney cancer, according to a report we released today. It’s the key finding in the latest update from our ongoing systematic review of the global research, the Continuous Update Project (CUP).
Today’s report reaffirms the conclusion of our previous report, making kidney one of ten cancers now strongly associated with overweight and obesity. You can read the key findings here.
Among those findings, you’ll also find a new conclusion with alcohol. Here’s what we can say about alcohol and kidney cancer: it’s complicated.
Alcohol is known to be a potent carcinogen, and has been definitely linked in previous reports from AICR and WCRF International to greater risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, and breast. This is why AICR recommends that if people choose to drink at all, they limit their consumption to 1 drink/day for women, and 2 drinks/day for men.
But when our CUP panel examined recent evidence from 8 studies, they found that moderate amounts of alcohol (about two drinks per day) were associated with lower risk for kidney cancer. Continue reading