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Alcohol and Smoking A Double Trouble to Elevate Cancer Risk
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For a large number of individuals, drinking and smoking go together like a baseball game and hot dogs. But when it is about cancer risk, experts compare tobacco and alcohol to a more volatile coupling.

Alcohol and smoking alone are enough to trigger risk of various types of cancers. A combination of two can significantly enhance the risk of cancers in an aero-digestive tract including – mouth, lips, throat, colon, oesophagus, pharynx, and larynx. Consuming alcohol and tobacco together is simply multiplying your risk of cancers.

How can Tobacco Smoking Damage Your Body?

Even a cigarette can damage your body to a great extent. Just a single cigarette can boost your risks of cardiovascular disease. It boosts your blood pressure and is a cumulative addition to the risk of cancer over time.

Each time when you smoke alcohol tobacco, a chemical chain reaction instigates in your body that generates dozens of carcinogenic compounds. Such compounds in the cigarette smoke enter into lips, tongue, mouth, down to throat and finally entering into the lungs. Ultimately they cause inflammation of all those body parts. The inflammation exposes these body parts to cancer-causing substances. Once these compounds get a place in the lungs, the smoke is absorbed into the bloodstream and spreads carcinogens to the entire body.

Smoking tobacco can cause cancer in any part of the body. It is even the root cause of 90% of lung cancers. Cigarette smoking is a prominent cause of various preventable diseases and even causes death to a large number of people.

Tobacco smoke can damage DNA and even damage proteins in cells that repair damaged DNAs. Additionally, smoking intervenes with the process of metabolic detoxification where the cells neutralize some toxins and eradicate the harmless byproducts from the body. But unlike tobacco, alcohol can cause some benefits to the cardiovascular risk reduction, and for this reason, people say it is better for you.

Is Moderate Amount of Alcohol Advisable?

While every cigarette is harmful, the same does not hold true for every drink. Moderate amounts of alcohol can be consumed to reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and strokes.

But according to the experts, you are required to keep a close check that you don’t cross the moderate use. It is because consuming alcohol in high amount can increase the risk of breast cancer, aero-digestive cancers, colon cancers, and more others.

According to NIH or National Institutes of Health as well as American Heart Association, moderate use of alcohol is consuming note more than two drinks a day for men and not more than one drink a day for women.

Consuming alcohol can increase cancer risk in several ways. The very common effect is inflammation in pancreas and liver, raising the risk of cancer in those body parts. During the process of metabolism, alcohol secretes a substance known as acetaldehyde that can stop body cells from repairing DNA damage. According to the experts, the nature of alcohol is a carcinogen. It is for sure cancer-causing agent, and hence, the more you consume, the higher you are at risk for cancer.

The Combined Effect of Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol and tobacco, when consumed in combination, can enhance the effects of each other in numerous ways. For instance, alcohol increases production of enzymes that transform tar of tobacco into carcinogens. At the same time, when you consume alcohol in an excessive amount, it suppresses the immune system. The two ingredients when combined together can increase the amount of inflammation caused to the various body parts.

When tobacco smoking and alcohol are consumed in combination, then the inflammation and effect can be 15 times more, and there are 25% more chances to develop cancer in various parts of the body.

Summing Up

Some cancer patients consider that they must continue such bad habits like drinking and smoking, as the damage has already been done. But it is necessary to remember that even if there has is damage; there are still possibilities of recovery. We try to intervene on both aspects to enhance the outcome during treatment of cancer by decreasing inflammation and to lessen future risks. Tobacco smoking and alcohol together can cause co-occurring disorders, which is a big challenge to treat. However, there is evidence that suggests combined treatments can be an effective method to address concurrent cancer ailments.

To know more about such concurrent treatment options, you just have to visit dramitgandhi.com

By Dr Amit Gandhi Oncologist, HIPEC Surgery Specalist
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.


Biography: I am an oncologist and a specialist in HIPEC surgery successfully performed more than 3000 surgeries in the last 10 years. I did MS General Surgery from KEM Hospital and completed comprehensive cancer training at Tata Memorial Hospital.

With the burning desire to offer cancer patients with comprehensive cancer care and specialized treatment for cancer, I established ‘Cansure Centre’ in April 2010 at Parel Mumbai. Cansure Centre was established with an intention to assure cancer sufferers that there is always a hope to fight cancer at all stages and offer them with precise treatment solutions against this dreaded ailment.

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