Lung Cancer Risk with Alcohol Consumption?

February 2019 (ScienceDirect) 

There are very well-established environmental risk factors for developing lung cancer like smoking, yet alcohol consumption, which is a known risk factor for developing other forms of cancer like mouth and lung cancer, has not been tested to see if it effects the development of lung cancer.

Researchers recently completed a study to fill in this gap of knowledge on alcohol’s effect on lung cancer development, and published their findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.

They used data collected in 22 different studies from the International Lung Cancer Consortium and the SYNERGY study regarding alcohol-intake, and the associations amongst the subjects within these studies were examined for overall lung cancer prevalence.

The analysis indicated an overall inverse association between risk of lung cancer and alcohol consumption, but this result was not always consistent. Those that consumed approximately one alcoholic beverage a day (10-19.9 g/day) were found to have the lowest risk, but there were no significant differences based on the type of alcohol consumed for any lung cancers except for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). SCC also showed the greatest difference of prevalence based on the amount of alcohol the patient consumed.

Although this research may indicate a relationship between alcohol consumption and the development of SCC specifically, these findings are the first of their kind, and further analysis should be done to see if these results are incidental.

Learn more about this research here.