NEW DELHI: All types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, increase cancer risk but people have low awareness about it and some even perceive alcohol as having health benefits, a new study has revealed.
All beverage types containing ethanol, such as wine, beer and liquor, which increase cancer risk.
To date, seven cancer types have been linked to alcohol consumption, including cancers of the breast, mouth and colon.
"Alcohol is a leading modifiable risk factor for cancer in the US and previous research has shown that most Americans don't know this," said Andrew Seidenberg, who led the study as a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the US.
The team found that awareness of the alcohol-cancer link was highest for liquor, with 31.2 per cent of adults being aware of the risk, followed by beer (24.9 per cent) and wine (20.3 per cent).
Ten per cent of adults said wine decreases cancer risk while 2.2 per cent said beer decreases risk and 1.7 per cent said liquor decreases risk.
More than 50 per cent of adults reported not knowing how these beverages affected cancer risk, according to the study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
"All types of alcoholic beverages, including wine, increase cancer risk. The findings underscore the need to develop interventions for educating the public about the cancer risks of alcohol use," said William MP Klein, associate director of the National Cancer Institute's Behavioral Research Programme.
Older adults also demonstrated lower awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.
"Educating the public about how alcohol increases cancer risk will not only empower consumers to make more informed decisions, but may also prevent and reduce excessive alcohol use, as well as cancer morbidity and mortality," said Klein.
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