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Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention$
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Michael Thun, Martha S. Linet, James R. Cerhan, Christopher A. Haiman, and David Schottenfeld

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190238667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190238667.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

(p.213) 12 Alcohol and Cancer Risk
Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Susan M. Gapstur

Philip John Brooks

Oxford University Press

In 2010, alcoholic beverage consumption caused an estimated 3.3 million deaths worldwide, and contributed to injuries, violence, liver cirrhosis, social disruption and at least seven different types of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies exposure to both ethanol in alcoholic beverages and acetaldehyde, the primary metabolite of ethanol, as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) based on “sufficient” evidence that alcoholic beverage consumption is causally related to cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum and female breast. The biologic mechanisms by which alcohol and its primary metabolite acetaldehyde affect cancer risk appear to vary across anatomic sites. Broadly, these mechanisms involve DNA and protein damage from acetaldehyde and oxidative stress, nutritional malabsorption and metabolic effects, and for breast cancer, increased estrogen levels. The World Health Organization has increased global surveillance of alcohol consumption and encourages national efforts to apply evidence-based policies to reduce consumption.

Keywords:   alcohol, alcoholic beverage consumption, acetaldehyde, cancer risk, World Health Organization

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