Category FAQs Search : Health
Question: How does alcohol raise cancer risk?
Answer: Exactly how alcohol affects cancer risk isn’t completely understood. In fact, there are likely several different ways it can raise risk, and this might depend on the type of cancer.
Damage to body tissues
Alcohol can act as an irritant, especially in the mouth and throat. Cells that are damaged by the alcohol may try to repair themselves, which could lead to DNA changes that can be a step toward cancer.
Once in the body, alcohol can be converted into acetaldehyde, a chemical that can damage the DNA inside cells and has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals.
Drinking alcohol can also lead to oxidative stress in cells, causing them to create more reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules that contain oxygen). These can lead to damage inside the cells that might increase the risk of cancer.
Alcohol and its byproducts can also damage the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring (cirrhosis). As liver cells try to repair the damage, they can end up with mistakes in their DNA, which could lead to cancer.
(Source: American Cancer Society , 16 Mar 2021)
Source Link: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/alcohol-use-and-cancer.html