According to researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), alcohol is a major cause of preventable cancer deaths in the United States annually. By reducing one's alcohol intake, one can effectively reduce his or her risk of developing and dying from cancer.
Said the study's lead author Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, from the Department of Medicine at BUSM:
"The relationship between alcohol and cancer is strong, but is not widely appreciated by the public and remains underemphasized even by physicians. Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight."
Their findings have been published in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
Alcohol linked to about 20,000 cancer deaths in the US each year
The researchers note that alcohol is a known carcinogen, regardless of how little of it is consumed, and is considered a risk factor for many cancer subtypes, including oral cancers, head and neck cancers, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, colorectal cancer, and even breast cancer.
Despite this, there has been a death of published work on just how impactful alcohol is on cancer deaths in the US. What researchers determined was that alcohol consumption could be linked to about 20,000 cancer deaths in the United States each year, or around 3.5 percent of all reported cancer deaths.