When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

40 Years of Progress: Transforming Cancer. Saving Lives.

The AICR Lifestyle & Cancer Symposium addresses the most current and consequential issues regarding diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

The Annual AICR Research Conference is the most authoritative source for information on diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

Cancer Update Program – unifying research on nutrition, physical activity and cancer.

ResourcesNav New163

Whether you are a healthcare provider, a researcher, or just someone who wants to learn more about cancer prevention, we’re here to help.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

Are you ready to make a difference? Join our team and help us advance research, improve cancer education and provide lifesaving resources.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

February 1, 2018 | 3 minute read

Time to Talk About Alcohol

I am in that phase of life where my age puts me at higher risk for breast cancer, and as the mother of two teenage daughters, I am acutely aware of the lifestyle factors that affect their risk for breast and other cancers.

Alcohol is one factor that is giving me an increasing cause for concern. From our own AICR research, I know that there is strong evidence that alcohol is linked to six different cancers and this is supported by research from other authoritative bodies, such as American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and American Cancer Society (ACS).

This in itself is worrying, but what is truly alarming is the perilous rising trend in alcohol consumption and the dangers of binge drinking. This, coupled with a lack of awareness about the alcohol cancer link – over 60% of Americans in our survey were unaware – and the belief that moderate drinking may protect against heart disease – is like a ticking time bomb.

What’s fascinating to me is that the concept of “Dry January”, where people seek to recover from the excesses of the holiday season, is becoming more common. But NOT drinking more regularly throughout the year is less accepted as a societal norm and it can be a conversation stopper when you raise concerns about alcohol being linked with cancer.

But increasingly, this is one of the most important conversations we need to be having – with our family, friends and especially sons and daughters who are reaching the legal drinking age. Young adults are especially vulnerable to aggressive marketing and peer pressure, but they need to know the facts.

For Cancer Prevention Month, AICR is highlighting this issue. Increased drinking levels will lead to more cases of cancer – and the ensuing heartache that brings to those impacted. Talking with a breast cancer survivor last month I was struck by her comments about alcohol – it has no place in a cancer-protective diet – why would anyone take the risk?

Just like other issues that impact our health, such as tobacco, fast food, soda, and the policy dynamics around alcohol – affordability, availability, labeling – are complex and require a multi-dimensional strategy.

In our own communities however, we can and must start the conversation.

Just like campaigns around not smoking, we need to use peer pressure to make not drinking alcohol a more acceptable habit. We tell our children not to smoke because of lung cancer; we need to tell them not to drink because of the risk of six different cancers.

So, this Cancer Prevention Month, please join us to start this conversation. Let’s build awareness and change social expectations around drinking alcohol for social occasions and make it OK to say mine’s a club soda and lime.

One comment on “Time to Talk About Alcohol

  1. Pat on

    So glad you are giving this message. Do keep it up! There is also a need for young women to understand the dangers of alcohol before and at any time during pregnancy. It’s one thing to take a risk for cancer for yourself, it’s quite another to risk lifelong impairment of your offspring. My grad students have told me the heartbreaking results in children they adopted not knowing they had been exposed to alcohol in utero. There are multiple reasons to choose to consume something else.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From the Blog