A new study that appears to be the first of its kind suggests that drinking wine could increase the chances of getting cancer just as much as smoking.
According to the researchers at Bangor University, University of Southampton, and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, drinking one bottle of wine per week is equivalent to smoking ten cigarettes for women and five cigarettes for men when it comes to increase chances of getting cancer.
The risk of getting cancer also increases rapidly when one exceeds one bottle of wine per week according to the study shared in the journal BioMedCentral Public Health.
As Dr. Theresa Hydes and her team suggested, an average of 10 in 1,000 men would get cancer at a certain point in their life from drinking one bottle of wine weekly. As for women, the risks are even more worrisome, with data suggesting that 14 in 1,000 women would develop cancer at a certain point in their life from drinking one bottle of wine weekly.
The risk of developing cancer also rises considerably when a person drinks three bottles of wine per week. As the researchers suggest, 19 in 1,000 men and as much as 36 in 1,000 women would develop cancer from drinking this amount of wine.
Additionally, women are more likely to suffer breast cancer from drinking while men are more prone to gastrointestinal cancers.
“We must be absolutely clear that this study is not saying that drinking alcohol in moderation is in any way equivalent to smoking,” Dr. Hydes explained.
“Our finds relate to lifetime risk across the population. At an individual level, cancer risk represented by drinking or smoking will vary.
“And for many individuals, the impact of ten units of alcohol (one bottle of wine) or five to ten cigarettes may be very different.”
As the research lead pointed out, comparing the risks serves as a reminder to people to cut down on booze as well.
“It is well established that heavy drinking is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, gullet, bowel, liver and breast,” she added.
“Yet, in contrast to smoking, this is not widely understood by the public.
“We hope by using cigarettes as the comparator we could communicate this message more effectively to help individuals make more informed lifestyle choices.”
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