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Study: Drinking Alcohol Increases The Risk of Skin Cancer


Study: Drinking Alcohol Increases The Risk of Skin Cancer


Who says drinking alcohol makes you gain weight! Alcohol rather makes you lean. On the floor, on the couch, in the bathroom, on people around etc. Well that was a quip, but on a note more thoughtful, a London-based study published in the British journal of dermatology claims that heavy drinking increases the risk of cancer [1]. This study can be considered reasonable since it is a meta analysis based on a review of 16 other studies and 6251 cases of melanomaThe magnitude of this ‘increase in risk’ is stated to be more than half, approx. 55%.

Researchers proclaim, gulping in as many as three to four drinks a day prompts a chain of reactions to take place in the body. These reactions make the body a lot more sensitive to the Sun, and therefore UV rays. The outcomes of research also seem to pose threat for people drinking a minimum of one drink a day. They say, this also increase your chances of acquiring skin cancer by 20%.

Medically speaking, ethanol is converted to acetaldehyde as soon as alcohol is ingested. This deteriorates body’s immune responses which in turn prompts cellular damage and therefore causes skin cancer to happen. However, this does not completely justifies that alcohol is the prime victim for skin cancer. It is the declining immune system due to surfeit alcohol consumption that fails to protect the skin from harmful UV rays of the sun. Therefore researchers themselves agreed that alcohol is alone not be held responsible for the sin. But there are as many as 7 different types of cancer linked to alcohol (mouth cancer, pharyngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and liver cancer). So, cutting out your hard drink consumption will only help you repel cancer.

While on a holiday, we tend to go unawares and gulp in an insignificant amount of alcohol. Whats worse is we do this while sun bathing. Sun and alcohol then, together endorse skin cancer. The best we can do is to get some assistance from suncream and lotions. And ofcourse try to avoid alcohol while in the open.But just in case all this isn’t much taken care of by you, It’d sound like a warning that you may get trapped by the deadliest forms of skin cancer – melanoma. It is observed that Melanoma has more affinity towards young people. So let your young blood flow and let it flow healthy.

To define the limits of safe drinking and to look at alcohol drinking from a broader perspective, it is of foremost importance to be aware of what parameters decide if you’re drinking heavily or just fine.

So lets learn this!

What’s With Alcoholic Units?

A drink is different and a unit is different. A drink contains units. And the number of units a drink contains is usually determined by the size of the drink and also by how alcoholic or strong it is. Many alcoholic drinks contain  more than one unit. You’d be gulping in a lot more units than you think. And that’ the strategy many bars and pubs follow.

How Many Units of Alcohol Are There In Different Types of Hard Drinks?

  1. Beer: A premium pint of lager, cider or bitter contains 3 units and an ordinary strength of the same contains 2 units.
  2. Wine: One bottle of wine contains as many as 9.5 units. A larger glass contains 3 units and a standard 175ml of wine contains 2 units.
  3. Spirits: A large double has 3 units and a large single has 1.5 units. Whereas a small double has about 2 units and a small single contains 1 unit.
  4. Alcopops: 275ml bottle of alcopops includes 1.5 units.

What Factors Decide If You’re Drinking Heavily?

Now, if you think you consume little amounts everyday and not a whole lot of bulk, and therefore save yourself from dying with cancer, you need a revision. Drinking a pint of premium lager or a large glass of wine is an integral part of your day-to-day life, then there’re a lot of chances that you may increase the risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal (gullet or foodpipe), breast and bowel cancers. Both include about 3 units of alcohol. So it doesn’t matter if you’re drinking a binge or spilling it over the week. It’s the overall consumption of alcohol that decides the risk of cancer.

Standardly speaking:

Keep your alcohol consumption to a bearable minimum. For, an elevation increases your risk of cancer. You may not be aware of the alcohol content of the drink, it may be significantly higher than what you may have assumed or thought it to be.

What Type of Alcohol Poses Cancer Threat?

Alcohol is alcohol. Any type of alcohol could increase risk of any particular type of cancer. Whether you drink wine, spirit or beer; you will get cancer if you overdo the ingestion for a larger duration.

Does Smoking While Drinking Has Anything To Do With Cancer?

You smoke and then drink or you drink first or do both at the same time. All of these possibilities are just as much hazardous to health. Cancer gets an easy way out if you drink and smoke as well. Alcohol assists the body to absorb the cancer causing chemicals in tobacco. Therefore those who smoke too, push themselves into the gloom of cancer even more.

How Many Calories Will You Excuse If You Quit Drinking?

Alcohol is sugar, so you are confirmed to throw in huge, bulky masses of calories when you drink it. This section tells you the number of calories you’ll save yourself by not consuming the apparently cancer-provoking drinks.

  1. Cider: If you’re in love with Cider, let this come as a harsh realization that you’re consuming as many as 210 calories in one pint of it. Do rest of the maths yourself.
  2. Wine: You will be sparing yourself from ingesting 228 calories if you quit drinking wine. A Standard white or red wine contains a whooping 160 calories.
  3. Lager: Lager is said to have 180 calories in say one pint of lager. Not just that, lager has earned its popularity in being an appetizer. So you will not just drink but also expect yourself to have a tongue tingling urge to eat chips and kebab along with Lager.
  4. Alcopops: A 275ml bottle of Alcopops may contain as many as 171 calories.

So the best option deduced, suggests you to simply quit drinking altogether.

Few of the Many Benefits of Quitting Alcohol Would Be:

  1. Prevent calorie consumption as mentioned above.
  2. You may sleep better.
  3. Alcohol is a depressant [2]. So you feel good by choosing not to drink it.
  4. Alcohol’s for sure expensive. Go economic. Save Money. Quit Drinking.

Alcohol does not hold a very good reputation. Gulping hard drinks has more harmful effects than anything good connoted to it. If you save yourself from something as perilous as cancer, you save as many lives connected to you. Drinking once in a blue moon is good for health too. But surfeit of everything brings you harm.

No offence to drinkers. This post is just a concern for you. Share and like if you enjoyed what you read.
Now lets Cheers! And let the comments to pour in. yeah!


[1] Kubo JT, Henderson MT, Desai M, Wactawski-Wende J, Stefanick ML, Tang JY. Alcohol consumption and risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in the Women's Health Initiative. PubMed PMID: 24173533.
[2]  Lee WK, Regan TJ. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy: is it dose-dependent? PubMed PMID: 12461319.


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