Alcohol lead to increased cancer risk, Malawians urged to adopt better lifestyle –columnist

Malawians are being sensitized that alcohol intake can promote and encourage the growth of cancer cells apart from the many risk factors that may contribute and promote the growth of cancer cells in human bodies.

A Healthy Living columnist Gandy Madzalo  writing in Malawi’s Sunday Times edition of June 2, 2013  said other factors may include diet, stress, hormones, environmental toxins, genetic weakness, occupation, smoking, and other unhealthy practices like sedentary lifestyle and many others.

“Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of a number of cancers. Breast cancer in women is linked to alcohol intake. Taking alcoholic drinks also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx and larynx, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, stomach and ovaries,” Madzalo wrote.

“If you have cancer cells, for whatever reason, alcohol promotes the growth of these cancer cells, it’s like applying fertilizer in weeds garden,” the columnist added.cold beer

He said that while it is true that not everyone who drinks will develop cancer, but on the whole, medical scientists have found that some cancers are more common in people who drink more alcohol than others.

“It’s not just people who drink very heavily who have higher risks. Regularly drinking a pint of premium lager or a large glass of wine a day or less can increase the risk of mouth throat, esophageal (foodpipe), breast and bowel cancers.),” said Madzalo.

Researchers have detected a link between alcohol consumption, cancer and aging that starts at the cellular level.

“Heavy alcohol users tend to look haggard, and it is commonly thought heavy drinking leads to premature aging and earlier onset of diseases of aging. In particular, heavy alcohol drinking has been associated with cancer at multiple sites,” noted researcher Andrea Baccarelli, who is head of the Center of Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Ca’ Granda Hospital Foundation, University of Milan, Italy.

Madzalo also bemoaned that young people are indulging themselves in alcohol consumption.

He expressed worry that a number of women are taking alcoholic drinks and they brand themselves as social drinkers. Adding that peer pressure is forcing a number of young ladies today to start drinking.

“Kitchen parties and bridal showers have become modern alcohol drinking pubs,” he added.

He said the more alcohol one drinks, the higher the risk of developing cancer and other diseases, saying heavy drinking can cause cirrhosis of the liver cancer. Heavy drinking can also lead to stroke, high blood pressure, pancreatitis and injuries.

“Most men who are diagnosed with Liver cancer in our hospitals are heavy drinkers. The Liver is one of the delicate organs you can’t live without. We only have one liver in a lifetime, when it is gone that’s the end of life. Drinking a lot of alcohol increases the risk of cancer; whether you drink it all in one go during weekends or a bit at a time.

“Do yourself a favor, dying from cancer is a very painful way of leaving planet earth. While all of us can get cancer due to various risk factors, we should not deliberately invite this plague through the drinking of alcohol,” he urges.

He asked people to change the way they socialize by also spending their quality time with their children, playing with them.

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