Cancer Culture – Alcohol

Prevention is better than a thousand cures.

One of the biggest societal ills and in turn a major (possibly the highest) contributor to Cancer Culture is the consumption of alcohol. The toxic and destructive effects of alcohol on society and our bodies is too much to cover in one post. For this reason, we are not going to discuss all the social ills, such as financial, emotional or physical abuse as a direct result of alcohol consumption. Nor will we discuss the deaths caused by drivers who had been consuming alcohol. What we will discuss is the toxic effect of alcohol on our bodies and how this is a major cause of cancer.

I will begin by defining a few terms.

Carcinogen: a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.

Metabolite: an intermediate or end product of metabolism, a chemical.

Acetaldehyde: a metabolite of alcohol.

Group 1: the highest rating; most dangerous carcinogen.

Glioblastoma: a very aggressive type of lethal brain cancer.

To give a better perspective, asbestos and tobacco are also group 1 carcinogens. According to a statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, drinking alcohol is linked to a greater chance of developing several types of cancers. It does not matter if it is low, moderate or high consumption. Simply, consuming alcohol increases chances of getting cancer, yet we as a society promote drinking without any concern.

The most commonly known organ that alcohol damages is the liver. Less known, are the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast and bowel (colorectum). These parts of our body are also affected, damaged and develop cancer as result of alcohol in addition to liver cancer. The chances of cancer growing in these areas is directly related to the amount of alcohol consumed.

These days, many people are worried about the neurological and even DNA effects of COVID and/or the COVID vaccine. Did you know that the chemical acetaldehyde can trigger cancer causing mutations in our DNA? As well as body wide inflammation? What about the known neurological effects of alcohol?

Why the double standards? Is it ignorance?

In addition to the above organs, alcohol consumption has been linked to brain damage in the frontal lobe, limbic system, and the cerebellum. It also damages the neurons causing the brain to shrink.

Even more serious than brain damage, the risk of a fatal brain cancer increases as a result of alcohol consumption.  According to a study published in 2011, alcohol consumption increases the risk of glioblastoma. Glioblastoma, has no cure and the survival rate is zero, it is fatal.

Many of us are concerned with global warming and complain that the earth is dying. We complain about how we are poisoning our earth. But we are not concerned about poisoning our bodies by consuming alcohol. Do you know what happens if alcohol is poured onto plants, onto our earth? Depending on the amount of alcohol, the plants will stop growing or die. The same alcohol that we put into our bodies.

Why the double standards? Is it ignorance?

We will not solve the health of our earth until we prioritize the health of our bodies.

The fact is, alcohol poisons our body whether we like to admit this or not. Like I stated earlier, there are too many damaging issues caused by alcohol to cover in one post. I reiterate the theme of these Cancer Culture posts, prevention is better than a thousand cures.

I conclude with the statement made by the World Cancer Research Fund, “for cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol.” Why is this not making headlines? Think about it. Stimulate your mind.

Dr. Nasser Kashou has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University. His career has included basic, clinical & translational research, vision science, image processing, neuroimaging, neuroengineering, neurocomputation, medical imaging and medical devices.

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