Huron County Health Says Decreasing Your Drinking Cuts Cancer Risk

The Huron County Health Unit reminds resident that consuming alcohol can lead to several kinds of cancer.

So its message for World Cancer Day this Sunday is that people need to rethink their drinking.

New research shows that alcohol is a carcinogen, and damages the body.  As our system breaks down the alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, which is a chemical that can damage DNA stem cells.

Damaged stem cells can lead to the production of cancerous cells.

Nearly one in five Huron County residents over age 12 are heavy¬†drinkers—consuming more than five drinks in one sitting at least once a month. About 42% of adults in Huron County drink alcohol in a way that puts their health at risk.

Public Health Promoter Laura Edgar says there is no safe amount, but the less you drink, the more you reduce the risk. That is especially important for those who have a family history of cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society says women should have less than one drink a day while men should limit their intake to less than two a day.

Small amounts of alcohol increase estrogen production in women and can lead to a higher chance of breast cancer.

In 2010, Cancer Care Ontario estimated that alcohol caused up to 3,000 cases of cancer in Ontario. Alcohol is associated with colorectal, breast and liver cancers, as well as head and neck cancers.

Visit www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca for information and support. Rethink Your Drinking is a regional campaign to help change the way we think about and use alcohol.