Here's some good news for light and moderate drinkers. A new study by National Institutes of Health has found that consuming light to moderate alcohol does not increase the risk of all-site cancer. Researchers have in fact found that light drinking significantly decreases the risk.
Similarly, light to moderate consumption was not associated with site-specific cancers of the lung, colorectum, breast, or prostate, the study revealed.
It evaluated the separate and combined effects of the frequency of alcohol consumption and the average quantity of alcohol drunk per occasion and how that relates to mortality risk from individual cancers as well as all cancers.
The analysis is based on repeated administrations of the National Health Interview Survey in the US, assessing more than 300,000 subjects who suffered over 8,000 deaths from cancer.
As quantity consumed increased from 1 drink on drinking days to 3 or more drinks on drinking days, risk of all-site cancer mortality increased by 22percent among all participants.
Moderate drinking consistently showed no effect in the analysis, and only heavier drinking was associated with an increase in all-site cancer risk.
For site-specific cancers, an increase in risk of lung cancer was seen for heavier drinkers, with a tendency for less cancer among light drinkers.
In another study, for all-site cancer and for lung cancer, results again showed an increase in risk only for drinkers reporting greater amounts of alcohol.
The data also revealed an increase in cancer risk from more frequent drinking among women but not among men.
For colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer, there is no clear pattern of an increase in risk from quantity of alcohol consumed.
For frequency of drinking, again there is a suggestion of an increase in mortality risk with more frequent drinking, although the trends are not statistically significant.