There has been plenty of coverage in the media recently about our alcohol consumption with research now suggesting that it can affect our chances of getting cancer by much more than it was originally thought.
Whilst the research isn’t suggesting that everyone who drinks alcohol will develop cancer, it has answered some common questions that generally cause a lot of confusion.
Surely only heavy drinkers are at risk?
Although there is no ‘safe’ level, the less alcohol you drink, the lower the risk. Cancer Research UK recommends that people stay within the government guidelines for how many units you can have per day but emphasises that even when doing this, there’s still a small increase in the risk of breast, throat and mouth cancers.
Is binge drinking better or worse?
Unfortunately, it isn’t clear yet whether or not binge drinking is better or worse for you than drinking smaller amounts more often. Consuming a lot of alcohol in a small space of time does increase the risk of accidents and injuries however.
What if I smoke as well?
The new research has found that drinking and smoking together are even worse for you than drinking alone. This is because the alcohol makes it easier for the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco to get into your body, multiplying the damage caused by smoking.
But isn’t red wine good for you?
There is a chemical which is found in grape skins (resveratrol) that researchers are investigating as a cancer treatment. If it works however, it will have to be purified in order to be effective and therefore, drinking red wine won’t help. In fact, one study calculated that the cancer-causing effects of the alcohol in wine are 100,000 more potent than any of the benefits from resveratrol.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today to learn more about our residential treatment.