Alcohol major contributor to cancer deaths in the US.

New findings published in the April 2013 issue of the , have shown that alcohol is a major contributor to cancer deaths and years of potential life lost.

The research originates from the of Medicine and points to a direct causal link of alcohol a known carcinogen even when imbibed in small quantities and the risk of developing cancer.

Prior have demonstrated that alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver, while more recent research has shown that alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and .

Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, from the Department of Medicine at and colleagues from the , the , and the Centre for estimated that was the most common cause of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in women, accounting for approximately 6,000 deaths annually, or about 15 percent of all deaths. Cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus were common causes of alcohol-attributable cancer mortality in men, resulting in a total of about 6,000 annual deaths.

The researcher examined recent data from the U.S. on alcohol consumption and cancer mortality. They found that alcohol resulted in approximately 20,000 cancer deaths annually, accounting for about 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Among the sexes, was the most common cause of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in women, accounting for approximately 6,000 deaths annually, or about 15 percent of all deaths. Cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus were common causes of alcohol-attributable cancer mortality in men, resulting in a total of about 6,000 annual deaths.

The researchers also found that each alcohol-related cancer death accounted for an average of 18 years of potential life lost. In addition, although higher levels of alcohol consumption led to a higher cancer risk, average consumption of 1.5 drinks per day or less accounted for 30 percent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.

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