Alcohol linked with higher prostate cancer risk

By Shayna Brouker • Published: February 1st, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

A drink or two after work may not seem like a big deal, but men at risk for prostate cancer may want to ease off the bottle, suggests a new analysis of 27 British and Australian studies published in the journal BMC Cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Canada, Australia and Britain, and the fifth-leading cause of death for men worldwide. Even a couple of drinks a day were associated with an 8 to 23 percent higher risk of prostate cancer when compared with teetotalers.

Another risk factor for prostate cancer area is age. The risk increases dramatically after age 50 and after the age of 40 for African-American men. Race is another risk factor; African-American men are 60 percent more likely to get prostate cancer. But African and Japanese men living in their countries of origin have lower rates of cancer, suggesting that an American diet may increase the risk.

Some symptoms that appear later in the disease process include difficulty urinating, lumps, bloody urine, loss of weight and appetite, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, swelling of the lower extremities and weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs, often with constipation.

Alcohol consumption not only impacts prostate cancer, but it is also considered a risk factor for breast cancer and seven types of cancers of the digestive system, skin and pancreas.

Although some studies show that exercise may offset the risks of drinking, the odds are in your favor if you avoid alcohol, eat a diet rich in veggies, whole grains, lean meat and healthy fats, and keep stress at bay. A healthy, well-balanced lifestyle low in alcohol can help keep cancer away.