We know that alcoholism can cause many negative health problems that can sometimes be irreversible. Did you know that you can get cancer from drinking too much alcohol? According to the American Journal of Public Health, 3.5% of all cancer deaths in the United States were alcohol-related. To prevent the risk of getting cancer, it is important to seek treatment so that you can live a long and healthy life.

How does alcohol cause damage to the tissues that lead to cancer?

Alcohol can damage your cells. When those cells try to repair themselves, it can lead to your DNA making mistakes and causing changes. Bacterial in the colon or the rectum can convert alcohol into acetaldehyde which has caused cancer in lab animals.

How can alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer?

Alcohol raises estrogen levels which causes growth and the development of breast cancer. Alcohol can also affect the ability to absorb folate that the body’s cells need to be healthy. Low levels of folate can increase the chances of breast cancer.

What other cancers are caused by alcohol?

You can get colon or rectal cancer from too much alcohol. You can also get mouth, voice box, throat, or esophagus cancer. When you drink and smoke simultaneously, the harmful chemicals of tobacco get inside the cell line of the mouth, throat and esophagus and makes changes to your DNA when cells try to repair the damage. Liver cancer can also occur when alcohol can lead to scarring and inflammation of the liver.

What should you do to lower the chances of getting alcohol-related cancer?

The best way to avoid getting cancer as a result of alcohol is abstaining completely. If not, drink in moderation where women should only be drinking no more than one drink a day and men no more than one or two. Do not binge drink as that can higher your chances of cancer. If alcohol levels are lowering your folate, eat more foods with folate like leafy green vegetables, dried beans, fruit, and peas. Speak to your doctor more about whether moderation or abstinence is the best choice in preventing the chances of cancer. If you already have cancer, speak to your doctor if you need to avoid alcohol as alcohol can increase the side effects of treatment in nutrient loss or dehydration. Alcohol can also worse treatment-related mouth sores or dry mouth.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.