06 May 2014 In Cancer

Evidence for the human carcinogenic effects of alcohol consumption on the risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx has been considered sufficient in the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph 44 on alcohol and cancer in 1988. We evaluated human carcinogenic evidence related to the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancers based on cohort and case-control studies published from 1988 to 2009. A large body of evidence from epidemiological studies of different designs and conducted in different populations has consistently supported the fact that alcohol consumption is strongly associated with an increase in the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancers. The relative risks are 3.2-9.2 for more than 60 g/day (or more than four drinks/day) when adjusted for tobacco smoking and other potential confounders. A strong dose-response effect on the intensity of alcohol use is reported in most of the studies. However, no apparent association is observed for the duration of alcohol use. Compared with current alcoholics, a decreased risk of approximately 10 to 15 years is associated with alcohol cessation. Similar associations have been observed among nonsmokers in over 20 studies. In general, the dominant type of alcohol consumption in each population is associated with the greatest increase in risk. A large number of studies on joint exposure to alcohol and tobacco consumption show a greater than multiplicative synergistic effect.

06 May 2014 In Cancer




Epidemiologic studies indicate that moderate alcohol consumption increases breast cancer risk in women. Understanding the mechanistic basis of this relationship has important implications for women's health and breast cancer prevention. In this commentary, we focus on some recent epidemiologic studies linking moderate alcohol consumption to breast cancer risk and place the results of those studies within the framework of our current understanding of the temporal and mechanistic basis of human carcinogenesis. This analysis supports the hypothesis that alcohol acts as a weak cumulative breast carcinogen and may also be a tumor promoter. We discuss the implications of these mechanisms for the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related breast cancer and present some considerations for future studies. Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health and recently been associated with healthy aging. Therefore, a better understanding of how moderate alcohol consumption impacts breast cancer risk will allow women to make better informed decisions about the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption in the context of their overall health and at different stages of their life. Such mechanistic information is also important for the development of rational clinical interventions to reduce ethanol-related breast cancer mortality.




06 May 2014 In Cancer
BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence for an association between the pattern of lifetime alcohol use and cause-specific risk of death. METHODS: Multivariable hazard ratios were estimated for different causes of death according to patterns of lifetime alcohol consumption using a competing risks approach: 111 953 men and 268 442 women from eight countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study were included. Self-reported alcohol consumption at ages 20, 30, 40 or 50 years and at enrollment were used for the analysis; 26 411 deaths were observed during an average of 12.6 years of follow-up. RESULTS: The association between lifetime alcohol use and death from cardiovascular diseases was different from the association seen for alcohol-related cancers, digestive, respiratory, external and other causes. Heavy users (>5 drinks/day for men and >2.5 drinks/day for women), regardless of time of cessation, had a 2- to 5-times higher risk of dying due to alcohol-related cancers, compared with subjects with lifetime light use (=1 and =0.5 drink/week for men and women, respectively). Compared with lifetime light users, men who used
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