Here’s another reason, as if you needed it, to feel crippling anxiety about everything you eat and drink. A new study published in the journal Addiction concludes that alcohol consumption causes cancer — and you’re at risk even if you just enjoy the occasional glass or two of Pinot. Most people probably realize drinking can cause liver cancer, but that’s just the beginning. The study’s analysis directly links alcohol consumption to the development of seven types of cancer, including that of the breast and liver, and now there’s growing evidence that it can cause skin, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. According to the study, 5.8 percent of cancer deaths around the world can be attributed to drinking.
Author Jennie Connor, a professor of preventive and social medicine in New Zealand, drew on studies conducted over the last decade by the World Cancer Research Fund, the World Health Organisation’s cancer body, and other organizations. While she says heavy drinkers are most at risk, Connor insists that public-health campaigns should encourage everyone to cut down, and tells The Guardian light drinkers experience a “considerable burden.” That, of course, is the exact opposite of how drinking should make you feel.
Over in England, the country’s chief medical officer caused some hoopla earlier this year when she warned women that drinking could cause breast cancer. She also helped usher in new government guidelines that suggest men limit their alcohol consumption to seven pints of beer a week. (That limit sounds particularly unrealistic now that the country’s citizens are coping with the consequences of Brexit.) One doctor with Cancer Research UK even went so far as to suggest alternating rounds of booze and soft drinks, or drinking low-alcohol cocktails. One thing’s certain: It’s another great reason to avoid blue wine when it hits the market.