Tumors, due to alcohol abuse 6 thousand breast cancer cases per year, but little known risk

by time news

2023-11-10 17:26:34

Almost a quarter of breast cancer cases (23%) are caused by avoidable risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, overweight, alcohol and a sedentary lifestyle. In particular, excessive alcohol consumption can be traced back to up to 11% of new diagnoses, equal to over 6 thousand cases every year in Italy. The toxicity of the substance is greater in women, whose organism is characterized by a lower production of the enzyme Alcohol Dehydrogenase (Adh) which determines a reduced ability to metabolize ethanol and also stimulates the action of estrogens, the hormones responsible for growth of approximately 70% of breast tumors. The probability of developing the disease increases exponentially when alcohol is associated with other risk factors, which enhance its harmful effects, such as cigarette smoking. The Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom) raised the alarm on the risks of alcohol abuse, which are unfortunately still underestimated, at the XXV National Congress in Rome.

In Italy – recalls a note – 36.9% of women are sedentary, 26.8% are overweight and 11.1% obese, 15.3% smoke and 8.7% consume alcohol in quantities at risk for health. These behaviors increase the likelihood of developing not only breast cancer, but also other cancers and serious diseases, such as cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. The limit threshold for alcohol consumption is 20 grams per day for men (two 125 milliliter glasses of wine) and 10 grams per day for women (about one glass of wine).

“In Italy, in 2022, 55,700 new cases of breast cancer were recorded and 834,200 women are living after the diagnosis – says Saverio Cinieri, president of Aiom -. The 5-year survival is equal to 88% and exceeds 90% when the disease is identified in the initial stages. Our scientific society has launched the first national campaign aimed at women aged 20 and over, to encourage correct lifestyles at all ages, with the aim of reducing the incidence and mortality of the breast cancer. One of the areas in which it is necessary to take targeted and immediate action is precisely the level of awareness of the female population on the serious damage of alcohol abuse. An English research has estimated that only one in 5 women (19.5%) identifies ethanol as a risk factor for breast cancer. It is necessary to fill these gaps as soon as possible, which we also find in our country. ” The Aiom campaign is carried out with the non-conditioning contribution of AstraZeneca.

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