TRACKING>>Drinking one bottle of wine per week has the same lifetime cancer risk as smoking 10 cigarettes. These are the findings of a new study published yesterday in the journal BMC Public Health. The new study in the United Kingdom (UK) estimates that consuming one 750ml bottle of wine per week increases the likelihood of developing cancer even in non-smokers.
The study found that if 2,000 non-smoking men and women drank one bottle of wine per week for the rest of their lives, approximately 10 more of the men and 14 more of the women would go on to develop cancer. The research team said that the comparison between alcohol and cigarettes can help inform the public that moderate levels of drinking were still a public health risk for women, as well as men.
This risk is particularly relevant for women due to the link between middleaged women, breast cancer, and alcohol consumption. The Corresponding author of the study, Dr. Theresa Hydes, said that it has been “well established” that drinking large amounts of alcohol has links to cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, gullet, bowel, and liver. Hydes is a Clinical Haepatology Fellow at the University Hospital Southampton in the UK. “Yet, in contrast to smoking, this is not widely understood by the public,” said Hydes. “We hope that by using cigarettes as the comparator, we could communicate this message more effectively to help individuals make more informed lifestyle choices.
“At an individual level, cancer risk represented by drinking or smoking will vary and, for many individuals, the impact of 10 units of alcohol (one bottle of wine) or five to 10 cigarettes may be very different.” Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumours, which do not spread. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasising.