Alcohol consumption results in an estimated 20,000 cancer deaths in the United States, a new study concludes. The majority of alcohol-related deaths in women were from breast cancer, while in men, alcohol was most likely to cause upper airway and esophageal cancer.
Overall, alcohol accounts for about 3.5 percent of cancer deaths in the United States, or about 19,500 cases, the article notes.
Having just 1.5 drinks a day or less is associated with up to 35 percent of cancer deaths, NBC News reports. “Higher consumption increases risk but there is no safe threshold for alcohol and cancer risk. Reducing alcohol consumption is an important and underemphasized cancer prevention strategy,” the researcher wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.
“For non-drinkers, it’s another reason to feel happy they don’t drink,” said researcher Dr. Timothy Naimi of Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. “For drinkers, it shows that when it comes to cancer, the less you drink, the better.”