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Scientific Evidence: Reasons to Reconsider Alcohol Consumption in Africa

Recent scientific evidence suggests that your liver is not the only organ you should worry about inflicting alcohol damage upon. At least, seven other parts of the body are at risk of cancer through alcohol consumption, regardless of the amount being consumed. A review written by a Professor from the University of Otago, New Zealand, Jennie Connor, posits that the larynx, oesophagus, bowel, mouth, throat and breasts are prominent sites that could develop cancer in the bodies of drinkers. While the exact biological causes remain unclear, an advancing theory is that alcohol harms the DNA and causes harmful mutations.

Speaking on the review, Susannah Brown, the Science Programme Manager for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), comments that Professor Connor’s findings are in line with the WCRF’s analysis in its Continuous Update Project. The review, coupled with the WCRF’s earlier statement that drinking around three alcoholic drinks in a day increases the risk of stomach cancer, provides enough evidence to conclude that consuming alcohol directly causes cancer, according to Brown.

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Health experts have previously recommended that both women and men should consume 14 units of alcohol per week at the most. Women who are regular heavy drinkers face a 40 percent risk of having breast cancer and dying from it. While those who drink two units of alcohol regularly risk a 16 percent chance. One obvious prevention method is to push for total abstinence from alcohol, but the WCRF understands the fact that a large number of individuals will find it difficult to follow through with such a recommendation, however helpful.

Professor Connor states that “there is no safe level of drinking with respect to cancer, though the risks are reduced for some cancers when people stop drinking.” The scientist’s conclusion reflects a study conducted in the United Kingdom last year which urged people to consider abstaining from alcohol altogether, given the connection that was made between light/moderate drinking and alcohol-related cancers.

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Written by How Africa

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