Tag Archives: breast

What Cancers are caused by Alcohol!

It’s true that several types of cancer are caused by drinking alcohol.  The health effects of drinking alcohol have been thoroughly researched and documented. While most people associate long-term alcohol use with liver problems, many are surprised that it is related to other chronic conditions, such as dementia, pancreatitis and even several types of cancer.
Liver, throat and esophageal cancer have the clearest association with chronic, long-term alcohol use, but other cancers have been indicated in studies as well. Tobacco use, combined with alcohol, greatly increases the risk of some cancers; the combination is a “perfect storm,” especially in cancers that affect the upper digestive tract (esophageal and throat cancer).
In general, the more alcohol you drink the greater your risk, so even cutting down a bit can help.  Overall it’s felt that alcohol is the cause of 3.5% of cancers in the United States.  Given that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are expected to develop cancer over their lifetime, that’s not a small number.
1
Liver Cancer

The association between liver cancer and alcohol consumption has been thoroughly researched and documented. Long-term, excessive drinking is a major risk factor for cirrhosis, a condition marked by scarring and inflammation of the liver. Over time, healthy tissue is replaced by scar tissue, impeding the liver’s ability to properly function. Having cirrhosis greatly increases your risk of developing liver cancer.  Check out these other causes of liver cancer to find ways to lower your risk.

2
Breast Cancer
Many women are surprised to learn that a few drinks a week may increase their risk of breast cancer. Alcohol affects estrogen levels by changing the way the body metabolizes them. Estrogen levels are clearly linked to breast cancer development. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Women who drink moderately or excessively on a regular basis face the most risk.

3
Oral Cancer
Those who consume alcohol are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don’t. Research shows that over 75 percent of people with oral cancer are drinkers. Additionally, those who drink and smoke are at an even higher risk of developing the disease.  Check out some other risk factors for oral cancer, as well as signs and symptoms to watch for if you’ve ever imbibed.

4
Throat Cancer
Throat cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the pharynx and other structures of the throat. Research tells us that chronic alcohol consumption is associated with throat cancer development, but when combined with tobacco, the risk of developing the disease drastically increases.  Check out this list of cancers caused by smoking, and if you smoke and drink, talk to someone about quitting today.
5
Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer develops in the esophagus, a long tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. It has been estimated that about 75 percent of esophageal cancer cases are related to chronic alcohol consumption. The type of esophageal cancer most people who drink excessively develop is usually squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.  This is in contrast to esophageal adenocarcinoma which often occurs in response to chronic reflux.
6
Laryngeal Cancer
Laryngeal cancer is a type of throat cancer (see above) that affects the larynx or “voice box” – an organ that plays an important role in breathing and communicating. It contains the vocal cords, which give us the sound needed to speak. While tobacco is the prime risk factor in most cases of laryngeal cancer, alcohol, in conjunction with tobacco use, greatly increases the risk. Studies have shown that alcohol enhances (or increases) the carcinogenic effect of tobacco.
7
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Several studies have linked colon cancer to heavy, long-term use of alcohol. According to the American Cancer Society, male drinkers generally have a higher risk than women drinkers, but both are at an increased risk in comparison to nondrinkers.
If you are a heavy drinker, you can greatly reduce your risk of colon cancer and other types of cancer by avoiding alcohol or reducing the amount you consume. If you are an alcoholic, your doctor may recommend that you have a ​colonoscopy earlier than the recommended age to detect any precancerous polyps or cancerous growths.
Sources:
American Cancer Society. Alcohol Use and Cancer. Updated 02/12/14. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/alcohol-use-and-cancer
National Cancer Institute. Alcohol and Cancer Risk. Updated 06/24/13. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/alcohol/alcohol-fact-sheet

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Alcohol linked to all different Cancers!

WineNick Mulcahy
July 27, 2016

There is “strong evidence” that alcohol causes seven cancers, and other evidence indicates that it “probably” causes more, according to a new literature review published online July 21 in Addiction.

Epidemiologic evidence supports a causal association of alcohol consumption and cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast, says Jennie Connor, MB, ChB, MPH, from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, in Dunegin, New Zealand.

In short, alcohol causes cancer.

This is not news, says Dr Connor. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and other agencies have long identified alcohol consumption as being causally associated with these seven cancers.

So why did Dr Connor, who is an epidemiologist and physician, write a new review? Because she wants to “clarify the strength of the evidence” in an “accessible way.”

There is “confusion” about the statement, “Alcohol causes cancer,” explains Dr Connor.

Public and scientific discussion about alcohol and cancer has muted the truth about causality, she suggests.

“In the public and the media, statements made by the world’s experts are often given the same weight as messages from alcohol companies and their scientists. Overall messages become unclear. For these reasons, the journal [Addiction] has tagged this piece [her review] as ‘For Debate,’ ” she told Medscape Medical News.

The use of causal language in scientific and public discussions is “patchy,” she writes.

For example, articles and newspaper stories often use expressions such as “alcohol-related cancer” and “alcohol-attributable cancer”; they refer to a “link” between alcohol and cancer and to the effect of alcohol on “the risk of cancer.”

These wordings “incorporate an implicit causal association, but are easily interpreted as something less than cancer being caused by drinking,” observes Dr Connor.

“Stop drinking alcohol” is a catch phrase that could be ― but is not ― akin to “stop smoking,” she also suggests.

“Currently, alcohol’s causal role is perceived to be more complex than tobacco’s, and the solution suggested by the smoking analogy — that we should all reduce and eventually give up drinking alcohol — is widely unacceptable,” writes Dr Connor.

The newly published review “reinforces the need for the public to be made aware of the causal link between alcohol and cancer,” said Colin Shevills, from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, in a press statement.

“Research shows that only around 1 in 10 people [in the UK] are currently aware of the alcohol-cancer link,” he said.

“People have the right to know about the impact of alcohol on their health, including its link with cancer, so that they can make informed choices about how much they drink,” added Shevills.

The lack of clarity about alcohol causing cancer, Dr Connor believes, is related to alcohol industry propaganda as well as the fact that the “epidemiological basis for causal inference is an iterative process that is never completed fully.”
Of the 36,030 (31%) current drinkers, 72% had low consumption. Over a follow-up of about 4 years, current drinking was linked to a 24% lower risk for heart attack (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 – 0.93), a 51% increased risk for alcohol-related cancers (mouth, esophagus, stomach, colorectal, liver, breast, ovary, and head and neck) (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.22 – 1.89), and a 29% increased risk for injury (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.04 – 1.61). There was no reduction in the risk for death or stroke among current drinkers.

The risk for cardiovascular disease was lower in wine drinkers than in never drinkers, and the risk for heart attack was significantly lower (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.39 – 0.77).

However, the risk for cancer was 38% higher in wine drinkers than in never drinkers (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.05 – 1.81), 69% higher in spirit drinkers (HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.26 – 2.26), and 20% higher in beer drinkers (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.91 – 1.57).

“The reduction in risk of heart attack is consistent with previous literature, both concerning red wine and low alcohol consumption. However, this may be offset by increases in risk for other outcomes,” Dr Smyth pointed out.

People with high alcohol intake had a 31% increased risk for death (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.04 – 1.66). Those with heavy episodic drinking had a 54% increased risk for mortality (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.27 – 1.87) and a 71% increased risk for injury (HR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.14 – 2.56).

More than three-quarters of people in high-income countries consumed alcohol, whereas only one-eighth of those in low-income countries did. However, even though low-income countries had the lowest frequency of current drinking, they also had the highest rates of current drinkers with high intake and heavy episodic drinking patterns.

In higher-income countries, risk on a composite score indicating the net association between alcohol and health outcomes was significantly lower for current drinkers than for never drinkers (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.77 – 0.92). In lower-income countries, there was no reduction in composite score for current drinkers (HR, 1.07; 0.95 – 1.21; P interaction ≤ .0001).

Dr Smyth and his colleagues emphasize that people who do not drink should not be advised to start drinking because of the potential to increase consumption or to start drinking in a heavy episodic pattern.

A detailed assessment of alcohol use during follow-up is lacking in this study, Jason P. Connor, PhD, from the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, and Wayne Hall, PhD, from King’s College London in the United Kingdom, write in an accompanying comment.

Even though outcomes on all health measures assessed were worse in former drinkers, the researchers did not collect data on how much alcohol these people drank before they abstained. In addition, relatively few adverse events occurred during the short follow-up period, which affects the study’s statistical power, they note.

Nevertheless, Drs Connor and Hall commend the researchers, noting that the value of the PURE study “will greatly increase as the number of adverse health outcomes accumulates with longer follow-up.”

“In the meantime, we should not delay action,” they write. “More than sufficient evidence is available for governments to give increased public health priority to reducing alcohol-related disease burden in low-income and middle-income countries.”

“This should be done by implementing the most effective population policies to discourage harmful drinking — namely, increasing the price of alcohol and reducing its availability, especially to younger drinkers, and preventing the alcohol industry from promotion of frequent drinking to intoxication,” they explain.

The study authors, Dr Connor, and Dr Hall have disclosed no relevant financial relationships

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March is Lymphoedema awareness !

Lymphoedema? What is it?

LYMPH
Is a colourless fluid which forms in the body and drains into the blood through a network of vessels and nodes… This is helped by movement unlike the blood which is pumped by the heart.

OEDEMA
Swelling of fluid in the tissues.

LYMPH NODE or LYMPH GLAND
Is a pea size organ of the immune system. Lymph nodes are distributed throughout the body and are linked by lymphatic vessels. They act as filters and trap bacteria to protect against infection. Their main locations are neck, jaw, under the arms, in the region of the liver and the groin. Episodes of cellulitis occur when the lymphatics are compromised.
The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph …

The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LYMPH VESSELS
Are tiny tubes that are present wherever there are blood vessels. Lymph vessels drain approximately 10% of fluid from the tissues of the body.How ever unlike the blood which is pumped by the heart the lymph system relies on movement to circulate through the vessels.

LYMPHOEDEMA
is a chronic swelling of a part or parts of the body caused by a an accumulation of fluid and protein in the tissues. It occurs when the lymphatic system is damaged. It commonly occurs in the arms or legs after removal of lymph nodes….but can occur anywhere in the body. It can be very debilitating and limbs may reach huge proportions and be very disfigured especially if left untreated.

TYPES OF LYMPHOEDEMA

Lymphoedema of leg

PRIMARY
Can occur when the lymphatic system is not fully developed. It commonly affects one or both legs but may occur in other parts of the body. May be congenital or develop Later in life. It may also be genetic.

SECONDARY
May develop due to damage to the lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes. It can occur anytime following surgery from days, months or years. It usually affects the arms or legs although it can affect the breast, head and neck, trunk or genital area. Risk factors include any surgical procedure where there is damage to the lymphatic system. Lymph node removal for biopsy, infection (cellulitis), mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, trauma, genetic or filariasis.

MIXED
Can be described as functional deterioration of the lymphatic system. It can be related to lipoedema, increased body mass index (BMI), obesity, immobility, venous disease, varicose vein surgery.

Lymmphoedema of arm following removal of lymph nodes for breast cancer

EARLY WARNING SIGNS
Tightness, swelling, pain, pins and needles, numbness, discomfort, infections…. Maybe one or more symptoms may be present. The first sign maybe that clothes become tighter on one limb…

This is is a link to information on Lymphoedema you may be interested in from Healthline
http://www.healthline.com/health/lymphatic-obstruction#

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