Like to Booze? You're More Likely to Get Skin Cancer

Researchers find a link between alcohol intake and non-melanoma skin cancers
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2017 8:48 AM CDT
The More You Drink, the Likelier You'll Get Skin Cancer
Researchers say the risks rise with consumption.   (Getty Images / cdwheatley)

Alcohol has already been linked to at least seven types of cancer. And while it's too early to conclude that alcohol consumption causes skin cancer, researchers report in the British Journal of Dermatology that there's a clear association between how much someone drinks and how likely they are to get non-melanoma skin cancers. These malignancies are directly linked to ultraviolet radiation and are the most common cancer types in the US and some of the most common in the world. In 2014, for instance, Hugh Jackman made headlines for having multiple malignancies removed from his nose and urging people to wear sunscreen.

For this review, researchers analyzed findings from 13 studies about basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), and found that for every extra 10 grams of alcohol consumed per day, the risk of developing BCC goes up by 7% and cSCC by 11%. (There are 28 grams in an ounce.) "This is an important finding given that there are few ways to prevent skin cancer," senior author Dr. Eunyoung Cho says in a press release. One possible explanation is that people who are drinking may be more likely to engage in behaviors that lead to getting sunburned, reports Cancer Therapy Advisor. (One of the most effective anti-drinking ads is all about cancer.)

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