Muse Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles Warns New Studies Show Even Stronger Evidence Linking Alcohol with Increased Cancer Risk

Los Angeles, CA – With research showing a clear link between cancer and alcohol consumption, public health and consumer advocates are working to spread awareness of this alarming risk factor for alcohol. Congress is even considering requiring warning labels on alcohol to advise users.

“Government Warning: According to the Surgeon General, consumption of alcoholic beverages can cause cancer, including breast and colon cancers” is one proposed label, similar to the advisories on packs and cartons of cigarettes.

More than a dozen advocacy groups have written to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, urging adoption of the new label. They cited the Surgeon General’s 2016 report showing the link between alcohol consumption and various cancers.

“Even one drink per day may increase the risk of breast cancer,” the report states.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) also has noted “strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer . . . The evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks—particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time — the higher his or her risk of developing alcohol-associated cancer.” NCI stated that “an estimated 3.5% of cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500 deaths) were alcohol-related.”

Warning labels have been used since the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988. But the health groups, including the Consumer Federation of America, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the American Public Health Association and the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance, argue that the labels need updating.

The alcohol industry opposes the labeling proposal, calling it a scare tactic based on incomplete science.

Other countries that have adopted alcohol warning labels have experienced a decline in consumption. In Australia, annual consumption dropped from 10.6 to 9.7 liters after the government began advising consumers to reduce drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already begun warning about the link between alcohol and cancer. Its Alcohol and Cancer page advises, “All types of alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, cocktails, and liquor, are linked with cancer. The less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk for cancer.” The CDC says alcohol consumption can lead to cancers of the mouth and throat; larynx; esophagus; colon and rectum; liver; and breast.

When you drink alcohol, the CDC says, your body breaks it down into a chemical called acetaldehyde, damaging your DNA and preventing your body from repairing the damage. “When DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor.”

Alcohol consumption causes many other physical problems besides cancer, and alcohol dependence can damage relationships, finances and careers. Muse Treatment Center in Los Angeles offers a comprehensive treatment of alcohol dependence or other substance use disorders. For help or more information in Orange County or beyond, call 800-426-1818.


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Muse Treatment
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