Smoking and alcohol increase thirty times the risk of cancer

Smoking and alcohol increase thirty times the risk of cancer

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Cancer risk increases massively with smoking and alcohol in combination

People who smoke and drink alcohol are much more likely to develop various types of cancer than if they only consume alcohol or cigarettes.

The Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) guide emphasizes that a combination of alcohol and smoking is up to 30 times more likely to develop cancer than consuming alcohol or cigarettes alone.

What types of cancer are favored?

The guide clarifies the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer and offers advice on risk reduction. It highlights the increased risk of cancer of the lip, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus. More than a quarter of alcohol-related deaths in Scotland are cancer-related.

“Epidemiological studies show that people who consume both alcohol and tobacco are 30 times more likely to develop cancers of the lip, oral cavity, throat, larynx and esophagus than people who use either alcohol or tobacco consume alone ”, says the advisor.

The guide is intended to help people reduce the risk of cancer

More research is needed to better understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer. Cancer and alcohol awareness initiatives are important building blocks for public health. The guide could make it easier for people to reduce their risk of cancer, the hope of the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems.

Further effects of alcohol consumption

Alcohol is not only a risk factor for cancer, consumption can also affect recovery from cancer, including the way some drugs work in chemotherapy. Research also suggests that breast cancer is more likely to recur if people consume more than five units of alcohol a week.

Cancer cases are increasing, reduced alcohol consumption is appropriate

Supporting people to reduce their alcohol consumption, along with a general improvement in health, would also reduce the risk of cancer for people. The hope that the worldwide rise in cancer can be countered by reducing alcohol consumption.

Why does the combined consumption of alcohol and tobacco increase the risk of cancer?

The increased risk from alcohol and smoking is due to the fact that alcohol affects the skin of the mouth and toxic substances in tobacco can penetrate more easily. Tobacco smoke contains formaldehyde, a toxic chemical compound that resembles acetaldehyde, which is produced by the breakdown of alcohol. These two connections together can more easily overwhelm the body's defense mechanisms. The new SHAAP guidelines provide clear guidance on how people can reduce their alcohol consumption, which at the same time reduces the risk of cancer due to alcohol consumption. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Alcohol and Cancer Risks A Guide for Health Professionals, SCOTTISH HEALTH ACTION ON ALCOHOL PROBLEMS (query: 10/25/2019), SHAAP

Video: Does alcohol cause cancer? (August 2022).