In the News
ARG Scientists Contribute to Study Showing Alcohol Causes More Deaths Than Melanoma
Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs & Mental Health, Chronic Disease Prevention, Women, Youth & Children
Research – Surveillance
Alcohol Research Group
Even moderate alcohol use may substantially raise the risk of dying from cancer, according to a study released Thursday offering the first comprehensive update of alcohol-related cancer deaths in decades.
“People don’t talk about the issue of alcohol and cancer risk,” said Dr. David Nelson, director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of the study.
“Alcohol has been known to be related to causing cancer for a long period of time. We talk about cancer prevention, screenings and tests. This is one of those things that seems to be missing in plain sight.”
Alcohol use accounts for about 3.5 percent of all U.S. cancer deaths annually, according to the study. The majority of deaths seemed to occur among people who consumed more than three alcoholic drinks a day, but those who consumed 1.5 beverages daily may account for up to a third of those deaths, the researchers found.
In 2009, 18,000 to 21,000 people in the United States died of alcohol-related cancers, from cancer of the liver to breast cancer and other types, the researchers said. That’s more than the number of people in the United States who die every year of melanoma (9,000 in 2009) or ovarian cancer (14,000 in 2009).
Originally published by San Francisco Chronicle
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