It is a universal knowledge that people who are exposed to long-term heavy drinking grow a high risk of liver cancer. Moreover, the study of recent years found credible evidence that conclude that drinking alcohol is a direct cause of cancer of colon, breast, and several other types aside from liver cancer, of which it is most associated with.
In 1988, IARC (International Agency of Research on Cancer) had already announced that alcohol is one of the cancerogens and ethyl alcohol is the main culprit.
As we all know, oropharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer and colorectal cancer are gastrointestinal cancers. Acetaldehyde, transformed from ethyl alcohol when it contacts with saliva, makes its level in saliva 10 to 100 times higher than that in blood. This plays a keen role in gastrointestinal cancer. Furthermore, ethyl alcohol could lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular canceration afterwards. And this is a capacity ethyl alcohol gains when it transforms into acetaldehyde.
Besides that, alcohol could increase the levels of estrogen in the body, which may be one of risk factors of breast cancer.
Some poor quality alcohol, made from musty grains containing abundant aflatoxin that cannot be cleared during brewing, could induce liver cancer and gastric cancer.
Ethyl alcohol, acting as a solvent of cancerogen, could carry cancerogen into oral cavity, mucous membrane of mouth and larynx and affect liver’s detoxification and biotransformation. The data shows that people who drink and smoke is associated with 15.5 times greater risk of developing oral cancer compared with those who don’t drink and smoke.
How much should we drink? Normally, daily intake of pure alcohol should be less than 20g for male and lesser for female. WHO provides us a formula, “Capacity ×Concentration×0.8=Alcohol Intake”.
Here are some advises from experts: Firstly, if drinking is inevitable, it’s better to eat some vegetables or desserts before drinking.
Secondly, if someone is drunk, please let him/her lie down for rest and loosen his/her collar; it’s very important to lie on side if he/she vomits to prevent aspiration and apnea. At last the drunk who have the symptoms like clammy skin, tic or coma should be sent to hospital immediately.