Researchers recently reported that Canadian men who are regular alcohol drinkers – on a daily or weekly basis – have a higher risk of cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, lung, and prostate. The more men drink, the greater the risk.
The investigators suspect that alcohol may be responsible for up to 5% of all invasive cancer deaths. Their article abstract does not address the possibility that regular drinkers may live longer than non-drinkers despite increased risk of cancer.
Readers of this blog will note that I am a bit of an advocate of alcohol consumption – for carefully selected people – for prolongation of life and reduction of cardiovascular disease. I’m also on record as favoring wine over other alcoholic beverages for these potential benefits.
I happy to report that the Canadians did not find an association between wine consumption and cancer.
Steve Parker, M.D.
Reference: Benedetti, Andrea, et al. Lifetime consumption of alcoholic beverages and risk of 13 types of cancer in men: results of a case-control study in Montreal. Cancer Detection and Prevention, 32 (2009): 352-362.