Cancer

17 May 2012

Heavy drinking increases oral cancer risk

Heavy alcohol consumption is more damaging than cigarette smoking as far as the development of oral cancer is concerned, according to a Pretoria academic.

0

Heavy alcohol consumption is more damaging than cigarette smoking as far as the development of oral cancer is concerned, according to a Pretoria academic.

Professor Andre van Zyl, head of the University of Pretoria's department of periodontics and oral health, said in Cape Town that the youth, especially, should be aware of the risks associated with alcohol, Beeld reported.

"We didn't have this information when we were young," he was quoted saying at a seminar held by the SA Dental Association. A drinker's risk of contracting oral and oropharyngeal cancer increased nine times, compared with a smoker's, whose risk was four times higher.

For someone who smoked and drank, the risk of oral cancers was 100 times higher. According to van Zyl, people who consumed four drinks a day could classify themselves as heavy drinkers.

Research had shown that beer was the most damaging, followed by spirits, and then wine. More than two glasses of wine a day should be regarded as too many, he said.

The damage was thought to be caused, partly, by the detrimental effects on human DNA of the ethanol in alcohol. 

(Beeld, May 2012)

Read more:

How smoking affects your health

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit cansa.org.za.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules