Three Drinks a Day Could Cause Liver Cancer

By May Wilkerson 03/26/15

Liver cancer is one of the deadliest and more common forms of cancer.

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Consuming three drinks a day could be enough to cause liver cancer, according to a new report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

Based on 34 previous studies involving 8.2 million people, more than 24,500 of whom had liver cancer, the report found “strong evidence” to suggest just three drinks a day or more can lead to the disease.

“Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer,” said Amanda Mclean, director of the charity’s UK branch. “But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.”

The findings prompted the Alcohol Health Alliance, a coalition of UK health organizations, to recommend that the government take action to minimize risks, including requiring alcohol cans and bottles to carry health warnings.

“Alcohol, like tobacco and asbestos, is a class 1 carcinogen and it is totally unacceptable that the public is not provided with such basic information,” said Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, the alliance’s chair. “This report shows that there is no safe level of drinking when it comes to cancer prevention.”

Liver cancer is one of the deadliest and more common forms of cancer. In Britain, about one in 100 men and one in 200 women develop liver cancer at some point in their lives. To minimize risks, the WCRF recommends that women consume no more than one drink a day and men consume two or less.

Obesity is also a risk factor for the disease, the report pointed out, estimating that one in four cases of liver cancer could be prevented if people maintained their weight and abstained from alcohol.

Another possible prevention tactic is drinking coffee. The report found that coffee could help protect against liver cancer, though it did not specify how much one would need to drink.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.