Light drinking linked to some cancers

Aug 19, 2015, 4:48 PM EDT
Three alcoholic drinks and a tequila shot
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A study details links found between light to moderate drinking and the development of certain cancers later in life. Breast cancer was one for women, and colon, liver, oral, throat and esophagus cancers among others. Research was also done on male smokers, and the research concluded that men who have ever smoked should avoid alcohol consumption above the recommended limit. CBS News reports:

A new study of 136,000 adults found light to moderate drinking was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women and several other cancers in male smokers. Light drinking is defined as up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks daily for men, the researchers added.
"Our study reinforces the dietary guidelines that it is important not to go beyond one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men," said lead investigator Yin Cao, a research fellow in the nutrition department at Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
However, the study did not prove that drinking raises cancer risk; it only showed an association.
Determining whether to drink and how much should take into account your smoking history, family history of alcohol-related cancers and your risk of heart disease, he said. Besides breast cancer, alcohol-related cancers include colon, liver, oral, throat and esophagus cancer.
The BBC writes regarding the differences in recommended amounts of alcohol in British versus American studies:
The NHS recommends that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units (two cans of 4.5% lager) a day and women two to three units (two small glasses of 12% wine) a day - although these drinking guidelines are currently under review and so could change.
In the American studies, light to moderate drinking was defined as up to 15g alcohol (a small glass of wine) per day for women and up to 30g alcohol (two 355ml bottles of beer) per day for men.
For women, the researchers observed, the risk of alcohol-related cancers - mainly breast cancer - increased even after one alcoholic drink a day.
No significant link was found in men who had never smoked, but among men who were current or ex-smokers, light or moderate drinking appeared to increase the risk of certain cancers.