Cancer

Genetics, the environment and our lifestyle influence the likelihood of developing cancer. We canít choose our parents and we have limited influence over our environment, but we can alter behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, that increase our risk of cancer.

Research shows us that:

  • Excessive alcohol use increases the risk of developing cancers, either by direct effects on cells or by increasing blood vessel growth in tumors.
  • In the liver, alcohol creates bands of scar tissue known as cirrhosis, and this frequently leads to liver cancer.
  • Of the 250,000 cases of breast cancer each year, about 10 percent have their beginnings in alcohol use.

How much alcohol is safe?

The American Cancer Society recommends limiting use to no more than one standard drink per day for women and no more than two standard drinks (1.5 oz. of liquor, 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer) per day for men to reduce cancer risk.

Download a pdf of our feature that ran in the Post & Courier

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Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
MUSC
67 President Street
MSC 861
Charleston, SC
(843) 792-2727