Health Blogs

Does heavy Alcohol consumption cause Cancer?

Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of pancreatic and stomach cancers. This may also increase the risk the cancers related to Mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and maybe breast too. For each of these cancer types, the more alcohol you drink, the higher you are a cancer risk.

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and esophagus:

Alcohol consumption clearly raises the risk of these cancers. Drinking and smoking together increases the risk of these cancers even more than doing one of thing alone. This might be because harmful chemicals in tobacco get inside the cells that line the mouth with the help of alcohol. This may same happen in throat and esophagus too.

  • Liver cancer: Long-term alcohol use has been clearly linked to an increased risk of liver cancer. Regular or heavy alcohol use can damage the liver, which may lead to inflammation and scarring.


  • Colon and rectal cancer: Alcohol use has also been linked with a higher risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence of the occurrence of these cancers are generally stronger in men than in women, but studies have found the link in both the genders.


  • Breast cancer: Even limited consumption of drinks is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. This risk may be especially high in women those who do not get enough vitamin in their diet or through supplements. Consuming alcohol can also raise estrogen hormones levels in the body, which may explain some of the increased risk. Cutting back on alcohol may be an important way to lower their risk of breast cancer.

Ways in which alcohol can harm your system:

There are several different ways alcohol consumption can raise risk, and this might depend on the type of cancer.

·        Damage to body tissues: Alcohol can act as an irritant, especially in the mouth and throat. Cells that are damaged by the alcohol may try to repair themselves, which may lead to DNA changes and can be a step toward cancer.

·        Effects on other harmful chemicals:Alcohol may help other harmful chemicals, such as those in smoking, enter the cells lining the upper digestive tract more easily. In some cases, it may slow down the body’s ability to break down and get rid of some harmful chemicals.

·        Effect on the absorption of folate or other nutrients: Absorption of nutrients worsens in heavy drinkers, who often results in low levels of folate. These low levels may play a role in the risk of cancers of the breast and colorectal cancer.

·        Effects of estrogen or other hormones: Alcohol consumption affects the level of estrogens which is essential for growth and development and could increase the risk of breast cancer.

·        Effects of body weight: Consuming excessive alcohol and too many calories in diet results in overweight which increases the risks of cancer.