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Many cancer deaths traced to alcohol

preventable cause dna damage larynx esophagus

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#1 Hum

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 18:16

Alcohol use accounted for roughly 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States in 2009, a new study finds.

This amounts to nearly 20,000 Americans who lost their lives to cancer that year as a result of drinking.

Researchers also found that alcohol is a leading contributor to premature death from any cause, and they estimated that each alcohol-related cancer death resulted in 18 years of potential life lost. In other words, a woman who dies from alcohol-related breast cancer at age 60 likely would have lived until age 78 had cancer not cut her life short.

"Alcohol is a known cancer-causing agent in humans, but it has been severely overlooked as a preventable cause of cancer deaths," said study co-author Timothy Naimi, a physician and alcohol researcher at Boston University Medical Center. "People need to know the impact of alcohol on cancer deaths because it's another reason why they should not drink excessively."

Among men, cancers of the upper airway (meaning the oral cavity and pharynx or the larynx) and the esophagus were the most fatal cancers pegged to alcohol. They killed approximately 6,000 men.

Among women, breast cancer was the top cause of cancer death. About 15 percent of breast cancer deaths in 2009 were linked to alcohol.

Although it's not exactly clear why alcohol increases cancer risk, one theory is that it damages DNA material in cells.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:05

Just another reason to not use alcohol.

#3 +hedleigh

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:14

So that means that 96.5 % were not caused by alcohol.
Scaremongering is rife in this day and age.

#4 DocM

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:00

It said many, not most, and the point still stands; alcohol is mutagenic by way of its first metabolyte, acetaldehyde, and whatever methanol contaminants are present (moonshine, some imports.)

#5 ajcdotme

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:30

uhoh... =P

#6 shakey

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:32

3.5% is nothing.

#7 OP Hum

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:33

Just another reason to not use alcohol.


I can quit anytime I want.

#8 shakey

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:43

I can quit anytime I want.


You can't tell me how drunk I am. Only I can tell me that. You don't own me!

#9 devBrian

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:55

For me this falls under the 'take care of your own damn self' category. How marijuana is illegal compared to alcohol and tobacco though, is and will continue to be a mystery to me.

#10 Dinggus

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:58

What isn't traced to cancer now days? I'll continue to drink.

#11 McKay

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 17:58

What doesn't increase the risk of cancer these days?

#12 uMadRabbit

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 18:07

Oh..Smoking wasn't enough already? Now lets put stickers to alcohol bottles as well that it might cause cancer. And while you're at it give out flyers that breathing in oxygen is actually the number one cause of deaths.

If you're so worried about it then don't drink and smoke if that's what your life is like. But leave people like me the **** alone already.

#13 +hedleigh

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 22:54

It said many, not most, and the point still stands; alcohol is mutagenic by way of its first metabolyte, acetaldehyde, and whatever methanol contaminants are present (moonshine, some imports.)


So what causes the other 96.5% then?

Car exhaust is fairly lethal, won't ever see that being discussed as a thing that needs to be controlled or banned.
Obesity, radiation etc., what are their rates?
I'm not disagreeing that it is a cause, just that it's a small percentage. That is what the scaremongering part is about.

#14 OP Hum

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 00:47

So what causes the other 96.5% then?


Smoking, second-hand smoke, sodium nitrates. ;)

#15 Detection

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:02

Was nice knowing you all....