We're still dealing with the fallout from learning that Chocoholism is an actual disease, but this new report really hits us where it hurts. Is there any worse headline to stumble upon than, "Alcohol causes cancer - even if you drink just over a pint of beer a day... and giving up won't help"? Whatever happened to heavy drinkers will outlive nondrinkers, huh Science?
According to a study of 363,988 people reported in the British Medical Journal, one in 10 of all cancers in men and one in 33 in women were caused by past or current alcohol intake. More than 18 percent of alcohol-related cancers in men and about 4 percent in women were linked to excessive drinking. The study found that men who drank more than two (standard-sized) drinks a day and women who drank more than one drink a day were particularly at risk of alcohol-related cancers. Oxford University researcher Naomi Allen, who helps to compile the ongoing study, said, "This supports existing evidence that alcohol causes cancer and that the risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts."
Cancer Partners UK medical director Prof. Karol Sikora was a little less Apocalyptic in discussing the results with the BBC: "This is the best data we've got and we're ever likely to get. The take-home message is that the more alcohol you drink, some of the common cancers - the four cancers that have been identified - do increase, and that's worrying. So the message has to be 'look at drinking habits, and reduce.'"
There is one silver lining we are clinging to: the study only took place in eight countries in Europe. So maybe Western Europeans just have inferior bodies which are prone to cancer, the Metric system, and football obsession? That's possible, right? Because this study only reflects drinking trends a decade ago, which Allen notes could spell even more doom for our current lot of binge drinking teenagers: "People are drinking even more now and this could lead to more people developing cancer because of alcohol in the future." How are we going to break this to the majority of New Yorkers?