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Alcohol And Cancer Link

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The Perth District Health Unit is reminding everyone about the direct link between cancer and alcohol.

PERTH - The Perth District Health Unit is reminding everyone about the direct link between cancer and alcohol.

New research shows the more a person drinks the higher risk you have for a number of cancers. Public Health Manager with the Perth District Health Unit Annette Hoyles says they understand not everyone will eliminate alcohol completely. 

"The best way to lower risk of cancer when it comes to alcohol is to obviously drink as little as possible. We always recommend a few alcohol free days, so you are not drinking alcohol every day of the week and make sure that you drink slowly and split it up with some non alcoholic drinks like water and just pay attention basically to how much you are drinking."  

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends limiting alcohol to less than 1 standard drink a day for women and less than 2 standards drinks a day for men. Women are more vulnerable to the health effects of alcohol even when drinking small amounts. For women, alcohol increases the production of estrogen leading to a higher chance of breast cell mutation and a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Hoyles says a lot of people still don't associate alcohol with cancer. 

"When it comes to alcohol and cancer, definitely the risk increases with the more you drink and it does start with the first drink, so the more you drink, the higher your risk and therefore the less you drink, the lower your risk." 

Alcohol has been directly linked to liver, breast, colorectal, head and neck cancers. Hoyles says they just want people to rethink their drinking. 

"We want to encourage adults to rethink their drinking and decrease the amount of alcohol that they drink to reduce their cancer risk. This is especially important for those who have a strong family history of cancer." 

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