Alcohol Increases Risk of Skin Cancer

Drinking alcohol increases a person’s risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer, according to a review published in British Journal of Dermatology.

Previously, the association between alcohol intake and non-melanoma skin cancer – which mainly comprises of basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma – was inconclusive. Therefore, the objective of the recent review was to quantify the relationship between alcohol intake and non-melanoma skin cancer using meta-analysis.

A systematic review was performed on 13 case-control and cohort studies that looked at alcohol intake and risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. The studies included 91,942 basal cell carcinoma cases and 3,299 cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cases.

The review found that for every 10-gram increase in ethanol intake per day, there was a positive association for both basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. It concluded that drinking alcohol increases non-melanoma skin cancer risk in a dose-dependent manner.

The review proposed that the results could serve as an important public health target to reduce the global health burden of non-melanoma skin cancer, as alcohol drinking is a prevalent and modifiable behaviour.

Read more about skin cancer risk factors.

 

Source:

Rota, M. (September 2017.) Evidence for an association between alcohol intake and an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. British Journal of Dermatology. Volume 177, Issue 3. Pages 696–707.


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