Researchers are now making a strong association between alcohol use and cancers of the esophagus, pharynx, and mouth, whereas another study links alcohol with liver, breast, and colorectal cancers. Together, these cancers kill more than 125,000 people annually in the United States. For the first time scientists have demonstrated how alcohol stimulates tumor growth. Their study, published in the January 15, 2005 issue of Cancer, says alcohol fuels the production of a growth factor that stimulates blood vessel development in tumors. For almost a hundred years mounting evidence has linked alcohol use to an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, breast, and colon. Researchers were never able to explain how alcohol may cause cancer. Theories suggests that the acetaldehyde found in alcohol, dietary imbalances, and impaired nutrient metabolism and the inability of the body to detoxify due to alcohol consumption, activation of precancerous enzymes, and suppression of the immune system.
8 Times More Cancer Cells
The investigators found that compared to their control group, the subjects who had been exposed to high alcohol consumption experienced increases in tumor size, tumor blood vessel density, cancer cell infiltration of blood vessels. Tumor volume and vascular volume more than doubled. They had more than eight times the level of cancer cell invasion of blood vessels compared to the control group. These findings support the hypothesis that alcohol represents an important mechanism of cancer progression associated with alcoholic beverage consumption. A recent study indicates that as few as two drinks per day can suppress any beneficial effects of a diet on decreasing risk of colon cancer. Although the study suggests that a diet high in folic acid, a B vitamin found in fresh fruits and vegetables, decreases the risk for colon cancer, it also warns that alcohol consumption may counter this protective action and increase the risk for colon cancer by reducing folic acid levels.
Suppression of immune response
Alcoholism has been associated with suppression of the immune system. Immune suppression makes chronic alcohol users more susceptible
to various infectious diseases, and to cancer.
By Dr Laurence Magne Dr
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