Dentists are a vital part of the care team for oral cancer patients. At Chapel Street Dental in New Haven, we want to help our patients understand how to avoid this disease and how to care for themselves if they do get it, which is why we’re sharing new research linking oral cancer to alcohol.
According to the study, conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, 5-6% of all new cancer cases, including cancers of the throat and oral cavity, are attributable to alcohol. This was one of the first studies to examine alcohol separately from smoking, which was already known to be one of the most common causes of oral cancer. One of the most concerning findings of the study was that most people are unaware that alcohol raises their risk for cancer and that it interferes with the success of chemotherapy.
The study provides evidence that even moderate drinkers are at a higher risk for oral cancer. It did not matter what type of alcohol they consumed. However, the study also found that when people gave up drinking, their risk of oral and throat cancer declined to the level it had been out before they started.