Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States

David E. Nelson, MD, MPH, Dwayne W. Jarman, DVM, MPH, Jürgen Rehm, PhD, Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD, Grégoire Rey, PhD, William C. Kerr, PhD, Paige Miller, PhD, MPH, Kevin D. Shield, MHSc, Yu Ye, MA, and Timothy S. Naimi, MD, MPH

Alcohol use is estimated to account for about 4% of all deaths worldwide.1 Research over several decades has consistently shown that alcohol increases the risk for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and liver.2-5 The biological mechanisms by which alcohol induces cancer are not fully understood, but may include genotoxic effects of acetaldehyde, production of reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, changes in folate metabolism, increased estrogen concentration, or serving as a solvent for tobacco metabolites.5 …..

Recent studies have also found a positive association for colorectal8—13 and breast cancer11—14 with alcohol use. Although some researchers report a positive associa- tion between alcohol and cancers of the stomach, ovary, prostate, pancreas, bladder, or endometrium,14—21 this has not been found by others.11,22—29 ……

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