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Although one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, this doesn’t mean that you have no say in lowering your risk. While there are various lifestyle tweaks that could help erect a barrier against the deadly condition, there’s one drink that needs to be taken with caution as it can make you more prone to seven types of cancer.
Whether you pour yourself a glass of wine or go to your local pub for a pint of beer, many Britons enjoy a cheeky drink or two from time to time.
However, “even a small amount” of this popular beverage could make you more susceptible to cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.
The charity told Express.co.uk: “Alcohol gets broken down into a harmful chemical called acetaldehyde, which can damage our cells and stop cells from repairing this damage.
“Alcohol can also make cells in the mouth and throat more likely to absorb cancer-causing substances, like those found in cigarette smoke.
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“This can make the cells more likely to develop mistakes in their genetic material and develop into cancer cells.”
From gin to wine and cocktails to shots, it doesn’t matter what your go-to drink is as alcohol itself is the problem.
Cancer Research UK said: “All types of alcoholic drink can cause cancer as it’s the alcohol itself that causes damage.
“Our body’s chemical signals can be affected by alcohol.
“For example, alcohol can increase the levels of some hormones such as oestrogen and insulin.
“This can make cells more likely to divide, which increases the chance that cancer will develop.”
What types of cancer can alcohol cause?
The cancers types which can be triggered by drinking the culprit include:
- Bowel cancer
- Breast cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Liver cancer
- Some types of throat cancer (oesophagus, larynx, and pharynx).
The charity added: “Drinking alcohol increases the risk of seven different types of cancer, including two of the most common types (breast and bowel cancer) and harder to treat cancers such as liver and oesophageal.
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“If you drink alcohol, you are more likely to get cancer than if you don’t. But drinking alcohol doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely get cancer.
“Your exact risk will depend on lots of factors, including things you can’t change such as your age and genetics.”
The bad news is that even small amounts of the popular drink could be detrimental to your health.
Cancer Research UK explained that even a little bit of the drink can boost your risk, which means the more you can cut down, the better.
“It’s how much alcohol you drink that matters, so no drinking pattern or type of alcohol is worse than another,” the charity added.
Furthermore, trying to make up for the amount of alcohol you drank with a healthy diet and lifestyle might not work.
Cancer Research UK said: “Eating a healthy, balanced diet can reduce your risk of cancer. But everything we eat and drink is important, including how much alcohol we drink.
“The only way to reduce the risk of cancer from alcohol is to drink less of it – whether that’s by having more alcohol-free days every week, swapping out some glasses of alcohol for non-alcoholic ones, or picking lower strength drinks or smaller servings.
“There’s plenty of tricks that people claim ‘cure’ hangovers and reverse damage from alcohol.
“But even if they help with your hangover, they don’t cancel out the damage from drinking alcohol.”
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