Alcohol, the socially acceptable drug, acts upon virtually every organ system and causes a variety of physiologic and behavioral alterations. Its ability to compromise the body's immune system has been linked to the development of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, as well as oral cancer (including the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and oesophagus), liver cancer, and possibly breast cancer in women. A study in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
(ACER) has found that individuals with cancer who drink excessively may be placing themselves at risk of a more rapid death from cancer.
"Some studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases cancer metastasis," said Gary G. Meadows, Director of the Cancer Prevention & Research Center at Washington State University, "while other studies have shown that alcohol consumption decreases metastasis. Thus, there is a lot more work needed in this area." Meadows, the Dorothy O. Kennedy Distinguished Professor, is also the corresponding author for the study.
For the May ACER study, pathogen-free female mice were divided into a number of study groups, each containing 20 mice. These included nontumor, water-consuming (NW) mice; nontumor, alcohol-consuming (NE) mice; with-tumor, water-consuming (TW) mice; with-tumor, alcohol-consuming (TE) mice; with-tumor, pair-fed mice that had their alcohol calories replaced with maltose-dextrin (T-PF); and with-tumor, pair-fed mice that did not have their alcohol-derived calories replaced with maltose-dextrin. The mice were given water or 20% w/v alcohol in their drinking water for three weeks to six months. Some were then inoculated with melanoma cells subcutaneously into the right dorsal hip. The mice continued to consume water or alcohol, and researchers gathered a variety of biochemical data at various time periods following tumor inoculation, as well as body weight, body water content, tumor weight, and carcass fat content.
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. Alcohol relapse adversely affects 10-year liver transplant survival2
. Alcohol intervention attempted for violent males3
. Alcohols damaging effects on adolescent brain function4
. Alcohol drinkers three times as likely to die from injury5
. Alcohol: Global burden on health similar to tobacco and high blood pressure6
. Alcoholics can have deficits in visuoperception and frontal executive function despite sobriety7
. RFA safe for treating liver tumors pushing on GI tract; Alcohol injection makes RFA more effective8
. Alcohol consumption may be associated with irregular heart beat in men9
. Alcohol use and victimization among college women10
. Alcohol limit for drink driving should be much lower11
. Alcohol-related emergency department visits higher than previously thought