Excessive alcohol (white wine) intake increases risk of melanoma cancer

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner



The Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention has published the findings of researchers who discovered that white wine could independently linked to increased risk of melanoma. As the festive season is approaching, it is advisable to reduce the level of alcohol consumption as it may makes one susceptible to developing melanoma cancer.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, which are cells in the top layer of skin. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds and lamps is a primary risk factor for melanoma. Other risk factors include a family history of the disease, having fair skin, freckles, light hair, lots of moles, and having a weakened immune system. Cho and team found that alcohol particularly white wine should be added to the list of causes of melanoma cancer.

Alcohol is a known risk factor for a number of cancers, including head and neck cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and esophageal cancer. The team analyzed data of three large studies including a total of 210,252 adults to examine if there might be a link between alcohol intake and risk of melanoma. The participants were requested to complete food frequency questionnaires, detailing the alcohol intake, including what alcoholic beverages they consumed and how much.
One standard drink was defined as 12.8 grams of alcohol, and study participants were followed-up for a mean of 18.3 years. Assessing overall alcohol intake, the team discovered that each alcoholic beverage taken daily was associated with a 14 percent greater risk of melanoma. However, when the researchers classified the results by alcohol type, they found that it was only white wine that could be independently associated with melanoma; each daily glass of white wine was linked to a 13 percent greater risk of melanoma. According to the team, beer, red wine and liquor had no significant impact on melanoma risk.
Furthermore, the team found that melanomas cancers on parts of the body that were less likely to be exposed to UV rays were more likely to be linked to alcohol intake.
According to the results, adults who consumed at least 20 grams of alcohol daily were at 73 percent greater risk of melanomas of the trunk, but they were only 2 percent more likely to develop melanomas of the head, neck, or extremities. Further study is needed to know the underlying mechanisms.
Cho says the team was perplexed that only white wine could be independently associated with higher melanoma risk, and further research is required to uncover precisely why this might be. However, she recalled that previous studies have shown some wines have increasing pre-existing levels of a chemical called acetaldehyde, which is known to damage DNA. With regards to red wine, she says the beverage contains a number of antioxidants that might counteract the harmful effects of acetaldehyde.

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In all, the researchers note their findings show melanoma should be included in the list of cancers related to alcohol consumption. The team says “the clinical and biological significance of these findings remains to be determined, but for motivated individuals with other strong risk factors for melanoma, counseling regarding alcohol use may be an appropriate risk-reduction strategy to reduce risks of melanoma as well as other cancers.”





Cho Eunyoung et.al (2016): Alcohol intake associated with increased risk of melanoma: White wine was the most clearly associated. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161201115257.htm

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