Alcohol consumption associated with nearly 5% of US cancer cases

Alcohol consumption contributed to 4.8 percent of all U.S. cancer cases and 3.2 percent of cancer deaths, translating to 75,199 cases and 18,947 deaths between 2013 and 2016, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology Jan. 19. 

The study, conducted by American Cancer Society researchers, found the proportion of cancer cases attributable to alcohol consumption varies by state, ranging from a low of 2.9 percent in Utah to 6.9 percent in Delaware. Utah and Delaware also had the lowest and highest proportion of alcohol-related cancer deaths at 1.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. Proportions were generally lower in Midwestern and Southern states, according to the data. 

The proportion of alcohol-related cancers was greatest for oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer cases. 

"This information is important for prioritizing state-level cancer prevention and control efforts to reduce alcohol consumption and the burden of alcohol-related cancers," said Farhad Islami, MD, PhD, study author. 

Researchers conducted the study using data from the U.S. Cancer Statistics database. 

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