Pancreatic Cancer Risk May Be Raised By Just Two Alcoholic Drinks Daily; How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

Jun 5, 2009 by

Pancreatic Cancer Risk May Be Raised By Just Two Alcoholic Drinks Daily; How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

Most experts agree that alcohol, especially when drunk in large amounts, is very damaging on health, although some also feel that red wine does more good than bad.

In the following article, a study which highlights the possible dangers, in terms of raising cancer risk, of drinking just two alcoholic drinks per day is discussed.

Two Alcoholic Drinks Daily Raise Pancreatic Cancer Risk

by Reuben Chow

The body of evidence linking alcohol consumption with increased cancer risk has been added to by a study recently published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, which found that drinking two alcoholic drinks every day can increase one’s risk of getting pancreatic cancer.

Details and Findings of Study

The study team, led by Jeanine M Genkinger, an assistant professor of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, had examined the findings of 14 studies previously conducted on the subject of alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer. The 14 studies covered a total of almost 863,000 men and women. Of the group, 2,187 persons were diagnosed with the disease.

Based on available information on the study subjects’ dietary habits, the researchers found that persons who consumed two or more alcoholic drinks per day had 22% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, as compared to those who stayed off such beverages. Here, one drink was defined by 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Zooming in, the study team discovered that two or more drinks a day raised women’s risk by 41%, while only elevating men’s risk by 12%, the latter figure not having statistical significance. When the bar for men was raised to more than three drinks, their increased risk for a particular type of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma, was found to be 60%, a figure which had become statistically significant; adenocarcinomas are the most common type of pancreatic cancer. This suggests that men have a higher tolerance for alcohol.

One interesting finding was that the effect of alcohol on pancreatic cancer was more pronounced among persons in the healthy weight range. However, before those who are overweight or obese rejoice, this, according to the researchers, is likely down to the fact that obesity is already a strong risk factor for the disease, and that could have masked the effects of alcohol on pancreatic cancer risk for the overweight subjects.

Another interesting finding was that the effects of alcohol were the same regardless of the type which was consumed.

How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer – Tips and Suggestions

Pancreatic cancer presents little or no symptoms in its initial stages, so diagnosis often only occurs after the disease has become relatively advanced. According to the American Cancer Society, the condition struck almost 38,000 Americans in 2008, and it accounted for about 6% of all cancer deaths in the US in that year. What are some simple steps which we can take to prevent this disease?

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