the scientific journal The Lancet Oncology published a global study which states that 4% of new cancer cases registered in 2020 worldwide, representing 740 thousand people, may be linked to excessive alcohol consumption.
Another survey, in which Brazilians from the National Cancer Institute (Inca) participated and published by Nature Genetics, corroborates the findings by stating that excessive alcohol consumption can cause mutations in the cells of the esophagus. Brazilian scientists warn of the importance of developing a blood test capable of detecting esophageal cancer in advance, which is usually discovered at a late stage of the disease due to symptoms.
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Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common in Brazilian men, with 11,30 new cases per year, according to the newspaper O Globo. The scientific survey of the project Mutographs it also alerts other factors to the development of esophageal cancer: tobacco and even drinks at high temperatures, such as coffee and mate.
Those who suffer most from the consequences of alcohol consumption are men, in 77% of cases. The most common types of cancer associated with alcohol are esophagus, liver, breast, colorectal, mouth and throat.
“Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing at least seven types of cancer. We need to raise awareness about alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer”, says Harriet Rumgay, a researcher at the French International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Rumgay underscores the importance of governments adopting policies to reduce alcohol consumption, as well as health and harm awareness campaigns.
The study also says that regions in Asia and Europe had 6% of cancer cases linked to alcohol consumption – the highest level was registered in Mongolia, with 10%.
In Brazil, 20,500 cases of tumors diagnosed in 2020 (4% of cancer cases) were linked to alcohol consumption. The ranking is led by China and India.
Rumgay also points out that the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has boosted the consumption of alcoholic beverages in several countries, especially in China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa. She explains that alcohol damages DNA, which can affect hormone production and contribute to the development of cancer.
The study also considers that moderate alcohol consumption is also harmful to health – 14% of cases of cancer linked to alcohol consumption were cases of moderate consumption.
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