ALCOHOL consumption is the primary cause of liver cancer and many other cancers. You may have heard that drinking alcohol can cause a condition called liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. When you drink excessively and for a long time, your liver is under a lot of stress and this can cause irreversible damage to the organ and cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.
Heavy drinking can increase your risk of infection of Hepatitis C virus, which can lead to liver cancer as well.
When most people think of alcohol they do not immediately associate it with cancer, but think again, there is a growing research that links alcohol with cancer and the more you drink the higher the risk of cancers that you become exposed to.
When you drink alcohol your body breaks down a chemical called ethanol and produces acetaldehyde, which is toxic to our bodies.
It damages our DNA and impairs our ability to absorb the much needed nutrients like vitamin A , folate, vitamin C, D and E.
It is a thin flat cell that sort of resembles a fish scale, these cells are found in our skin tissue, organs and lining of our respiratory and digestive tracts.
Combining cigarettes and alcohol increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer. Interesting is that men are three times more likely to develop oesophageal cancer.
Alcohol can also increase your risk of colon and rectal cancers (colorectal cancer). This is an unfortunate truth and in the USA colon and rectum cancers are the second leading causes of death.
The amount of alcohol you drink will affect your risk for developing colorectal cancer when compared to non-drinkers or occasional drinkers.
If you drink three- and-a-half or more drinks a day you have one-and-a half times the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
For every 10 grams of alcohol you drink per day, which is just under one drink you increase the risk of developing colon cancer by seven percent.
Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. If you have a problem with drinking and want to stop contact 00263772399734 or email [email protected] and join the Rechabites in building drug-free, healthy and productive communities.