Alcohol and cancer might have a stronger link than previously thought, a new position paper by the Cancer Council of Australia suggests. Still, quantifying the risk is difficult because of the number of risk factors combined in an individual persons risk to develop cancer.
In the past, alcohol has mainly been linked to rare forms of the disease, like liver, head and neck cancer. Experts now have reason to believe that it is also a risk factor causing such widespread forms as bowel or breast cancer. According to the report, alcohol is classified as a class one carcinogen similar to tobacco and asbestos.
Christine Clark, Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, said: “The evidence is convincing that if you drink alcohol, your risk of a number of cancers is increased and that is really causal. It is what they call a causal relationship which means that the alcohol is responsible for that increased risk”.
Generally, cancer risk is connected to many different factors. Genetic predispositions, Socio-economic status, Substances a person is exposed to might all play a role in the development of cancer.
Because of the newly created link to breast cancer, especially women are advised to limit their alcohol intake to one unit a day, said John Boyages of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute.