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The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of bowel cancer. BIG warning from WHO :Nidae Kashmir

The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of bowel cancer. BIG warning from WHO

   26 Views  |     |   Saturday, April, 1, 2023

The consumption of alcohol increases the risk of bowel cancer. BIG warning from WHO


In yet another indictment of the side effects related to consuming alcohol, the World Health Organization said consumption of alcohol in the tiniest of amounts can cause cancer.

The World Health Organization published a statement in The Lancet Public Health saying when it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health.

And contrary to the public perception about the salutary effects of one glass of wine or a pint of beer, WHO said cancer will be triggered irrespective of the beverage. Alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, including the most common ones, such as bowel cancer and female breast cancer.

The risk of developing cancer increases substantially the more alcohol is consumed. However, latest available data indicate that half of all alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region are caused by ‘light’ and “moderate” alcohol consumption – less than 1.5 litres of wine or less than 3.5 litres of beer or less than 450 millilitres of spirits per week. This drinking pattern is responsible for the majority of alcohol-attributable breast cancers in women, with the highest burden observed in countries of the European Union (EU). In the EU, cancer is the leading cause of death and the majority of all alcohol-attributable deaths are due to different types of cancers.

Cancer risk starts from first drop of alcohol

The latest WHO statement suggesed that there’s no existing evidence as to when the carcinogenic effects of alcohol “switch on” and start to manifest in the human body.

Moreover, there are no studies that would demonstrate that the potential beneficial effects of light and moderate drinking on cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes outweigh the cancer risk associated with these same levels of alcohol consumption for individual consumers.

“We cannot talk about a so-called safe level of alcohol use. It doesn’t matter how much you drink – the risk to the drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage. The only thing that we can say for sure is that the more you drink, the more harmful it is – or, in other words, the less you drink, the safer it is,” explained Dr Carina Ferreira-Borges, acting Unit Lead for Noncommunicable Disease Management and Regional Advisor for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Also, the question of beneficial effects of alcohol emerges as a contentious issue in research for years.

“Potential protective effects of alcohol consumption, suggested by some studies, are tightly connected with the comparison groups chosen and the statistical methods used, and may not consider other relevant factors,” clarifies Dr Jürgen Rehm, member of the WHO Regional Director for Europe’s Advisory Council for Noncommunicable Diseases and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.

Are we missing the bigger picture?

Globally, the WHO European Region has the highest alcohol consumption level and the highest proportion of drinkers in the population where over 200 million people in the region are at risk of developing alcohol-attributable cancer.

“So, when we talk about possible so-called safer levels of alcohol consumption or about its protective effects, we are ignoring the bigger picture of alcohol harm in our Region and the world. Although it is well established that alcohol can cause cancer, this fact is still not widely known to the public in most countries. We need cancer-related health information messages on labels of alcoholic beverages, following the example of tobacco products; we need empowered and trained health professionals who would feel comfortable to inform their patients about alcohol and cancer risk; and we need overall wide awareness of this topic in countries and communities,” adds Dr Ferreira-Borges.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people lose their lives every year due to cancer all over the world. In the year 2020, more than one million people died due to cancer.


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