शराब से अनेक प्रकार के कैंसर का खतरा Roaring Business of Alcohol : Even though Alcohol is linked To More Cancer Type

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


We all know well that expensive and excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to our health and generally as far as possible we should avoid it. That statement is further justified through the finding of a recent major study conducted at Imperial College London. According to the research, alcohol increases the risk of getting more types of cancer than previously thought. That is why more incidences of cancer are reported globally. Alcohol has been linked to breast, and liver cancer is already widely known but a new study revealed a correlation between alcohol and several other cancers, including bowel cancer and cancers of the head and neck cancers(namely, mouth, pharyngeal , and laryngeal cancers). Alcohol can damage the DNA in our cells and prevent the body from repairing the affected cells, therefore the damaged cells can lead to cells growing out of control. That is called cancer

The researchers believe that they know the reason why alcohol increases the risk of cancer too. When alcohol is metabolized, our body breaks it down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde damages the DNA, which is the cell’s “instruction manual” that controls the cell’s normal growth and function. This process can result in mutations that could become cancerous. Alcohol can increase the levels of some hormones in our bodies such as oestrogen and insulin. Hormones are chemical messengers, and higher levels of estrogen and insulin can make cells divide more often. This increases the chance that cancer will develop—changes to cells in the mouth and throat.

Alcohol is also known to interfere with the functions of certain glands that release hormones. It impairs the hormone system’s ability to work properly, particularly affecting hormones involved in the development of breast cancer. 

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed

Giving up or significantly cutting down on alcohol drinking will reduce your risk of cancer after several years, but may not eliminate it depending on your lifetime exposure. There are many benefits to stopping alcohol consumption. “Long-term, it leads to reduced risk of liver damage, many cancers, including throat/oral cancer, esophageal cancer, breast and colorectal cancer, among probably many others,” On the other hand, was found to protect against diseases triggered by inflammation, such as cancer, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sugar is not a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance. However, over-consumption of sugar, particularly added sugars in processed beverages and foods, can contribute to obesity which is an important risk factor for cancer. No evidence consuming sugar makes cancer cells grow faster or causes cancer.

Alcohol v/s Coffee

You will be surprised to know that scientists have put forth that coffee can negate the relationship between alcohol and cancer. Further research needs to better understand the mechanisms involved in the links between coffee and cancer as well as between alcohol and different cancer subtypes.  The link between cancer and other foods and drinks examined in the study was weak. However, the evidence for an increased risk from alcohol consumption and a reduced risk for coffee and dairy products was strong for all 11 cancer types included in the study. In general, the study result confirms that the more alcoholic drinks a person consumes, the higher their risk of developing one of the associated cancers. Besides limiting your alcohol consumption, there are several other ways in which your diet may affect your risk of cancer. The WCRF recommends enjoying a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit and being physically active. 

For most types of cancer, coffee appears either to decrease the risk of cancer or to have no effect on cancer risk at all. Even in countries with very high intake of caffeine from coffee, such as Scandinavian countries, research does not support a link between coffee or caffeine and cancer risk. Drinking coffee is often associated with health benefits. Although coffee contains acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, most recent studies into dietary acrylamide intake have also found no association with cancer risk.

Drinking at least one cup of coffee a day can lower the risk of developing basal skin carcinoma (a type of skin cancer) and liver cancer. We discuss the link between drinking coffee and a lower risk of liver disease in a previous article - Scientists Discover a New Benefit of Drinking Coffee. Caffeine is unsafe when used for a long time or in doses over 400 mg daily. Caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, increased heart rate, and other side effects. Larger doses might cause headaches, anxiety, and chest pain. Caffeine is likely unsafe when used in very high doses. Is it good to drink coffee?

Moderate coffee intake—about 2–5 cups a day—is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancers, Parkinson's disease, and depression. It's even possible that people who drink coffee can reduce their risk of early death Coffee also lowers the risk of other liver conditions including fibrosis (scar tissue that builds up within the liver) and cirrhosis. Drinking coffee can slow the progression of liver disease in some patients. Beneficial effects have been found when the coffee is prepared – filtered, instant, and espresso.

Now knowing well all these facts should we allow this business which ruin people’s health and economy. Henceforth we should boycott alcohol sales and purchases. (The author has his own study and views)