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How does alcohol cause cancer?

How does alcohol affect the risk of cancer development?

In a cabinet in London’s British Museum nestles a 5,300 year-old wedged-shaped tablet called a cuneiform. On its surface is scrawled one of the earliest forms of written language in the world.

And it’s a record of Mesopotamian workers’ beer rations.

Clearly, humanity’s relationship with alcohol stretches back thousands of years, but a long relationship doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy one.

We know that alcohol is damaging to our health in a number of ways. And the one we’re most concerned about here at Cancer Research UK is its impact on cancer risk.

We’ve written about the link between alcohol and cancer many times before – from discussing the evidence that it causes cancer to talking about how drinking less reduces your risk of developing the disease.

But we haven’t yet explored the science behind how alcohol affects and damages our cells, and how this can cause the cells in our bodies to develop into cancer.

Which cancers?

There are seven types of cancer linked to alcohol – bowel, oesophageal (food pipe), larynx (voice box), mouth, pharynx (upper throat), breast (in women), and liver. There’s also mounting evidence that heavy drinking might be linked to pancreatic cancer. But how, and why?

Read Full Article: How does alcohol cause cancer? – Cancer Research UK – Science blog

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