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Alcohol Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk

Drinking increases risk for colorectal cancer, but the type of alcoholic drinks don’t appear to make a difference.  Instead, danger seems to come from the alcohol itself rather than other ingredients.

In the Netherlands Cohort Study on diet and cancer,  alcohol consumption and specific alcoholic drinks were studied for more 2,300 people who had colon or rectal cancer. Compared to people who did not drink at all, there was a 30 percent increase in colorectal cancer among people who had 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day.

Both men and women were affected by alcoholic consumption in the study.  Alcohol increased cancer risk more in the rectum and colon near the rectum than higher in the colon.

Epidemiologist Brenda W.C. Bongaerts and her team concluded,

Our data showed a positive association between alcohol consumption and risk of CRC, which seemed to be mainly explained by the alcoholic content of alcoholic beverages, rather than other constituents. Also, cancer risk may vary according to anatomical subsite.

SOURCE: Bongaerts et al., International Journal of Cancer, published online August 27, 2008.

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