For years now, medical researchers have been aware of a connection between alcohol use and cancer.
New research published in The Lancet Oncology suggests that 4.1% of all new cancer cases in 2020 can be attributed to alcohol use.
Researchers also looked at the contribution of moderate (<20 g/day), risky (20 to 60 g/day), and heavy (>60 g/day) drinking to new cancer cases.
According to a summary of the data in the journal Psychiatry Advisor:
Men accounted for 76.7 percent of total alcohol-attributable cancer cases, and the most cases attributable to alcohol were seen for cancers of the esophagus (189,700 cases), liver (154,700 cases), and breast (98,300 cases). The lowest population-attributable fractions (PAFs) were seen in Northern Africa and Western Asia (0.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively), while the highest PAFs were seen in Eastern Asia and Central and Eastern Europe (5.7 and 5.6 percent, respectively). The largest burden of alcohol-attributable cancers was represented by heavy and risky drinking (346,400 and 291,800 cases [46.7 and 39.4 percent], respectively), while moderate drinking contributed to 13.9 percent of cases (103,100 cases); drinking up to 10 g/day contributed to 41,300 cases.
Current estimates of Americans struggling with alcoholism (otherwise known as alcohol use disorder) put the number at roughly 15 million.
All of them are at a heightened risk of esophageal, liver, and/or breast cancers, though developing other forms of cancer is possible.
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