Alcohol is a common substance that many people consume on a regular basis, either socially or habitually. However, alcohol is not a harmless drink. It can have serious consequences for your health, especially when it comes to cancer. In this article, we will explore the question: alcohol is related to which of the following types of cancer quizlet? We will also explain how alcohol causes cancer, what are the risk factors, and how you can reduce your risk.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer, such as:
- Mouth and throat cancer
- Voice box (larynx) cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Colon and rectum cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer (in women)
Some studies also suggest that alcohol may increase the risk of stomach and pancreatic cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that all alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, and liquor, are linked with cancer. The more you drink, the higher your cancer risk.
How does alcohol cause cancer?
The main mechanism by which alcohol causes cancer is by damaging your DNA. DNA is the genetic material that controls the normal growth and function of your cells. When DNA is damaged, a cell can start growing out of control and form a tumor.
Alcohol damages your DNA in several ways:
- By breaking down into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, which can directly damage DNA and prevent your body from repairing it.
- By generating reactive oxygen species, which are unstable molecules that can damage DNA, proteins, and fats in your cells.
- By impairing your body’s ability to absorb and use certain nutrients that are important for DNA repair, such as folate.
- By increasing the levels of estrogen, a hormone that can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.
The main risk factor for alcohol-related cancers is the amount of alcohol you drink. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to cancer risk.
The CDC defines moderate drinking as no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Heavy drinking is defined as four or more drinks on any day or eight or more drinks per week for women and five or more drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks per week for men. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in one sitting.
Other factors that can influence your risk of alcohol-related cancers include:
- Your age: The older you are, the more likely you are to develop cancer.
- Your gender: Women are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol than men because they have less body water and lower levels of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol.
- Your genetics: Some people have inherited variations in genes that affect how they metabolize alcohol or repair DNA damage. These variations can increase or decrease their risk of alcohol-related cancers.
- Your lifestyle: Smoking, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and exposure to other carcinogens can increase your risk of alcohol-related cancers.
- Your medical history: Having a history of certain diseases or conditions, such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis, or human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, can increase your risk of alcohol-related cancers.
The best way to reduce your risk of alcohol-related cancers is to avoid drinking alcohol altogether or limit your intake to moderate levels. If you do drink, follow these tips:
- Drink no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Do not binge drink or drink on an empty stomach.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, such as water or juice.
- Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs or medications that can interact with it.
- Seek help if you have a problem with alcohol abuse or dependence.
You can also reduce your risk of alcohol-related cancers by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes:
- Quitting smoking or avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Getting regular physical activity and limiting sedentary behavior.
- Protecting yourself from sun exposure and avoiding indoor tanning.
- Getting vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B.
- Getting screened for cancer according to your age and risk factors.
Alcohol is related to which of the following types of cancer quizlet? The answer is: mouth and throat cancer, voice box (larynx) cancer, esophagus cancer, colon and rectum cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer (in women), and possibly stomach and pancreatic cancers. Alcohol causes cancer by damaging your DNA and interfering with your body’s ability to repair it. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk. You can lower your risk by avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption and following a healthy lifestyle. Remember, there is no safe level of alcohol when it comes to cancer risk.