Hard Alcohol Ups Risk Of Colon Cancer   

Hard Alcohol Ups Risk Of Colon Cancer

People who consumed more than nine drinks a week that contained distilled spirits, such as vodka and whiskey, were three times more likely to have common types of colorectal cancer. Wine, on the other hand, appeared to cut that risk.

These were the findings of a study presented at the recent American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting.

For the research, almost 2,000 volunteers were recruited to have screening colonoscopies. A colonoscopy is latest designed to look for colon cancer. Using a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and a camera, doctors can examine the length of the colon.

The average age of the study participants was 57 and they were equally male and female; all came from an upper middle class neighborhood. Along with a colonoscopy, information was gathered from each volunteer on drinking history, weight, family medical history, diet, smoking history, education and exercise.

Researchers aren't sure why spirits would be associated with more suspicious lesions. Experts say it's possible there may be chemicals involved in the processing of these products, or it could be another factor altogether, such as a history of aspirin use, that the volunteers had in common.

Gastroenterology experts say the sample is too small to really draw any conclusions, but stress that the most important thing people need to remember is that lifestyle, including alcohol consumption, has an impact on the risk of getting colorectal cancer.


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