Study Shows 741,000 Cancer Cases Associated With Alcohol Consumption

Aug, 2021 - By WMR

Study Shows 741,000 Cancer Cases Associated With Alcohol Consumption

In 2020, new research estimated that alcohol consumption could account for about 4% of new cancer cases.  

Around 740,000 recent cases of cancer were estimated in 2020 to be attributed to alcohol intake by a new research led by the International Agency for Cancer Research. The study advocates for increased techniques of public health to raise awareness about the relationship between cancer and alcohol. It has long been known that there is a link between increased risk of cancer and alcohol consumption. The very first evidence of how alcohol can damage DNA is found in a major research published in 2018 by a group of scientists from the Cambridge University.

The direct linking of caner to alcohol consumption is very difficult. It is difficult to measure precisely how many cancer cases can be attributed directly to drinking as there are so many confounding factors. The latest estimate made in this study is one by comparing the 2010 alcohol intake per person with the new cancer cases reported in 2020. The research results evaluate that around 4% (which is about 741,300 new cases) of all new cases of cancer worldwide could be related to consumption of alcohol in 2020. The relationship between alcohol and cancer is geographically different. 6% of new cancer cases were found to be related with alcohol consumption in China whereas in the US it was only 3%. Three-quarter of all cases of alcohol based cancer were found in men. Most of these were associated with drinking are liver, esophageal and breast cancers. Most of the cases were accounted for heavy drinking and one in a seven case was associated with moderate consumption of alcohol.

The researchers have made it very clear that there are limitations to this analysis. For instance, two cancerous substances, often synergistically used, did not take into account for the connection between alcohol and tobacco consumption. Moreover, the study reveals its findings based on the per-capita intake of alcohol by commercial numbers. Creating awareness about the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer is the most essential component of this study.  

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