Study Links Alcohol to These 7 Types of Cancer

Alcohol is deadly. There’s no other way to put it.

In the short term, alcohol has been shown to negatively impact sleep, it can destroy personal relationships, it can decimate your savings account and it can cause major weight fluctuations. The long-term effects are much more grim. Prolonged alcohol abuse can cause liver failure, heart problems, memory loss and, according to a recent study, cancer.

Jennie Connor, a researcher out of New Zealand recently collected and analyzed a collection of epidemiological and biological research on the subject and came to some pretty dramatic conclusions. Not only is prolonged alcohol abuse carcinogenic, but alcohol may be responsible for as much as 5.8% of all worldwide cancer deaths. A staggering number for sure.

In her paper, Connor links alcohol abuse with 7 distinct forms of cancer. Today on Healthversed, we’re going to take a closer look at her findings and how much they may impact your daily life.

Liver Cancer

Your liver processes absolutely everything that your body consumes. Your liver cleanses your blood, regulates energy, manufactures proteins and even regulates your hormones. So, as you’d imagine, your liver can be severely damaged by prolonged alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis, inflammation, alcoholic hepatitis… the list goes on.

And it doesn’t take a lot of alcohol. As little as three glasses a day could dramatically increase your risk of developing this deadly disease. In terms of the “how,” very little is known. However, some believe that the cancerous cells develop a lot like the scar tissue of cirrhosis.

Common symptoms of liver cancer include nausea and vomiting, general weakness and fatigue, upper abdominal pain, white, chalky stools and more.

maggee /
maggee /

Mouth Cancer

Much like your liver, most of what you consume passes through your mouth. Alcohol abuse is the second leading cause of oral cancer, right behind tobacco. Why? Well… that’s uncertain.

Some suggest that alcohol consumption lowers the body’s ability to utilize cancer fighting antioxidants while others link it, once again, to liver cirrhosis. What researchers can agree on is that a decrease in alcohol (in conjunction with a healthy diet) can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

As with any kind of cancer, early detection is critical. Symptoms can include the appearance of white or red lesions in your mouth, numbness of the tongue, swelling of the jaw, ear pain, difficulty chewing and more.

Alexander Raths /
Alexander Raths /

Throat Cancer

Yes… the risk factors of alcohol consumption go much further than your mouth. Prolonged alcohol abuse can also increase your risk of developing throat cancer. Much like oral cancer, throat cancer is made exponentially worse when paired with cigarette smoke. Also, much like oral cancer, very little is known as to the why. Not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop this type of cancer, but in general terms, those who drink more exhibit more risk factors.

As with all physical maladies, listening to your body and seeking help early can save your life. Common signs and symptoms of throat cancer may include a cough, changes in your voice, ear pain, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, a sore throat and more.

Ehab Edward /
Ehab Edward /
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