Adele Roberts says her cancer diagnosis 'was a shock'
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The connection between cancer and diet is a complex and inconclusive topic. While some experts believe no single food has a significant impact on your cancer risk, research singles out certain foods and drinks for being strongly associated with cancer.
Cancer describes a condition during which the cells in parts of your body start growing and reproducing uncontrollably.
Fortunately, easy lifestyle tweaks can make you less likely to develop cancer.
While doing the opposite can in return boost your risk.
One drink that can cause as many as seven different cancers is alcohol, according to Cancer Research UK.
From gin to wine and cocktails to shots, it doesn’t matter what you drink as alcohol itself is the problem.
The charity explains that alcohol drinkers are more likely to get cancer compared to those who don’t enjoy alcoholic drinks.
What’s worse, even a small amount of the popular drink can hike your risk.
The cancers which can be triggered by drinking include:
- Bowel cancer
- Breast cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Liver cancer
- Some types of throat cancer (oesophagus, larynx, and pharynx).
How does alcohol cause cancer?
There are three different ways alcohol can cause the dreaded condition, varying from cell damage to hormone changes.
Damage to cells
After you have a drink, your body turns it into a chemical called acetaldehyde.
This chemical can then cause damage to your cells and even stop them from repairing this damage.
Changes to hormones
Alcohol can boost your levels of hormones, such as oestrogen and insulin.
Higher levels of hormones can lead to cells dividing more often, which increases your chances of developing cancer.
Changes to cells in the mouth and throat
Alcoholic drinks can make cells in your mouth and throat more likely to absorb certain “harmful” chemicals.
This can make it easier for cancer-causing substances to get into your cells and trigger damage.
The good news is that drinking alcohol doesn’t definitely guarantee you will develop cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.
Also, whatever your drinking habits are, cutting down on alcohol can reduce your risk.
What are the symptoms of cancer?
Some general symptoms and signs that could be signalling the disease include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Eating problems (not feeling hungry, trouble swallowing, belly pain, nausea and vomiting)
- Swelling or lumps anywhere in the body
- Unexplained pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse
- Cough or hoarseness that doesn’t go away
- Changes in toilet habits
American Cancer Society advises speaking to a doctor if you notice any “major changes” in your body.
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