Drinking Alcohol Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer, Study Confirms

Drinking Alcohol Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer, Study Confirms
The causal association between alcohol consumption and risk of prostate cancer has been suggested, but results so far have been inconclusive. Now, a collaborative study confirms the suspicions: The more you drink, the higher your risk of prostate cancer. The study, "Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for prostate cancer? A systematic review and meta–analysis," published in BMC Cancer, is a result from a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies that accounted for drinker misclassification errors, which are common in the majority of studies assessing alcohol consumption. It shows that alcohol consumption is associated with many more prostate cancer cases than previously thought. Alcohol is a known risk factor for several cancers, including breast cancer, and at least six types of cancers of the digestive system (oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon and rectum). Studies also have suggested a link between alcohol consumption and increased risk of skin, pancreas and prostate cancer, but findings have been conflicting. In prostate cancer, for example, studies have reported that alcohol consumption increases risk, decreases risk, or is not associated with the development of this cancer. The researchers believe this likely occurs, in part, because of  "abstainer bias." This term refers to a common practice in studies addressing alcohol consumption, in which researchers include former (sometimes heavy) drinkers who quit due to health problems in the same group as people who never drank alcohol. In such studies, t
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Inês holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and worked as a research fellow at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Inês currently works as a Managing Science Editor, striving to deliver the latest scientific advances to patient communities in a clear and accurate manner.

One comment

  1. jesse Calloway says:

    Thank you for adding clarity to a truly inconsistent area of research. That being said, I do have a couple of questions:
    1. Did those who drank alcohol at any consumption rate also otherwise eat healthy (e.g. veggies, little to no red meat or poultry, little to no fried foods, etc.)?
    2. How does “binge drinking” factor into the equation (e.g. if a person drinks 5 drinks in one day is that the same as drinking 1 drink per day for 5 days)?

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