Research clearly shows that alcohol increases risk for breast cancer overall. Now, a study published this week in the International Journal of Cancer finds that drinking alcohol increases risk for nearly all breast tumor types, especially when women start drinking as young adults. The risk is modest, but it shows one way women can take steps to lower their risk.
Using data from the European Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) study, researchers included 335,000 women from ten European countries and of those,11,576 participants had breast cancer diagnoses after an average of 11 years follow-up. Data on participants included BMI, waist to hip ratio, smoking status, physical activity, education level and diet information. The authors calculated how much alcohol women drank over their life, based on surveys the women filled out on what they drank in their 20s and beyond. About 15% of the women drank more than one alcoholic drink daily. Continue reading
It’s what every examination of the science of diet and health requires. For too long, authorities have demonized specific foods in an attempt to explain poor health outcomes, or anointed the latest “superfood” a panacea against disease.
That’s more or less the gist of a new article in the New York Times, “Red Meat is Not The Enemy.” The author suggests that experts historically “cherry-pick” data from individual studies to single out one nutrient or food in an attempt to determine its role in human health.
The Totality of Evidence
We agree that this can be a problem, and a misleading one. And that’s precisely why, at the American Institute for Cancer Research, when we perform our ongoing analyses of the global evidence on the connections between cancer risk and lifestyle (read: diet, weight, physical activity), we do so using systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses. (We call it the Continuous Update Project, or CUP.) Continue reading
An analysis of worldwide research on diet, weight, physical activity and liver cancer has found strong evidence that consuming approximately three or more alcoholic drinks a day causes liver cancer. Published today, the finding provides the clearest indication so far of how many drinks actually cause liver cancer.
As a member of the independent panel of scientists that reviewed the worldwide research, this is a significant finding that I hope will help reduce the global number of cases of liver cancer. Currently, it’s the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, accounting for 746,000 deaths globally in 2012.
How alcohol causes liver cancer
Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can cause damage to the liver and lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening of the liver), which is known to increase the risk of this cancer. We know that 90-95% of liver cancer cases have underlying cirrhosis. Alcohol consumption is also carcinogenic to humans, has tumor-promoting effects, and is associated with increased body fat. The latter is a concern because obesity is a risk factor for accumulation of fat in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis and also increase liver cancer risk. Continue reading