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Does Alcohol Cause Cancer?

In July 2016, Dr. Jennie Connor, physician and chair in Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin, New Zealand, released the study Alcohol Consumption as a Cause of Cancer. Her work was a compilation of hundreds of meta-analyses from around the world, each one studying alcohol as a cause of cancer. A meta-analysis  combines the results from multiple studies in an effort to increase validity (as opposed to one individual study), improving estimates of the size of the effect and accuracy. Dr. Connor’s study reviewed thousands of individual studies.

Dr. Connor was commissioned to do this research by the journal “Addiction” a product of the SSA – Society for the Study of Addictions. Her Conclusions:

  • There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others
  • Once thought protection from cardiovascular disease associated with drinking is now under great skepticism

alcoholThe Interview with Dr. Connor explored her findings with the intent of showing the  epidemiological evidence that supports the judgment that alcohol causes cancer of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast. Some of the major highlights of the interview include:

  • “moderation” appears to encourage drinking
  • Many breast cancers from alcohol occurred in women who were “moderate” drinkers
  • Younger women drinking – the added breast cancer risk
  • The carcinogenic effects of alcohol start at the first drink
  • The multi faceted ways alcohol leads to disease and kills
  • Neurotoxicity
  • The effects of heavy episodic drinking – binge drinking and pancreatic cancer
  • Multiple carcinogens of wine
  • And no, a glass of wine a day is not healthy

You can listen to the interview at Shira’s website, Best In Health Radio

Shira Litwack is the Director of International Relations and Master Trainer at, Cancer Exercise Training Institute and creator of Best in Health Radio.



MFN Industry Expert