Heavy Alcohol Consumption

As with smoking, the regular consumption of alcohol may be associated with increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Alcohol consumption is a factor in the onset of colorectal cancer at a younger age as well as a disproportionate increase of tumors in the distal colon [38, 40]. Reactive metabolites of alcohol such as acetaldehyde can be carcinogenic [41]. There is also an interaction with smoking [38]. Tobacco may induce specific mutations in DNA that are less efficiently repaired in the presence of alcohol [41]. Alcohol may also function as a solvent, enhancing penetration of other carcinogenic molecules into mucosal cells [41]. Additionally, the effects of alcohol may be mediated through the production of prostaglandins, lipid peroxidation, and the generation of free radical oxygen species [41]. Lastly, high consumers of alcohol may have diets low in essential nutrients, making tissues susceptible to carcinogenesis [2].

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  • Category: Cancer