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Originally published March 19 2009

Two Alcoholic Drinks Daily Raise Pancreatic Cancer Risk

by Reuben Chow

(NaturalNews) The body of evidence linking alcohol consumption with increased cancer risk has been added to by a study recently published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, which found that drinking two alcoholic drinks every day can increase one's risk of getting pancreatic cancer.

Details and Findings of Study

The study team, led by Jeanine M Genkinger, an assistant professor of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, had examined the findings of 14 studies previously conducted on the subject of alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer. The 14 studies covered a total of almost 863,000 men and women. Of the group, 2,187 persons were diagnosed with the disease.

Based on available information on the study subjects' dietary habits, the researchers found that persons who consumed two or more alcoholic drinks per day had 22% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, as compared to those who stayed off such beverages. Here, one drink was defined by 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Zooming in, the study team discovered that two or more drinks a day raised women's risk by 41%, while only elevating men's risk by 12%, the latter figure not having statistical significance. When the bar for men was raised to more than three drinks, their increased risk for a particular type of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma, was found to be 60%, a figure which had become statistically significant; adenocarcinomas are the most common type of pancreatic cancer. This suggests that men have a higher tolerance for alcohol.

One interesting finding was that the effect of alcohol on pancreatic cancer was more pronounced among persons in the healthy weight range. However, before those who are overweight or obese rejoice, this, according to the researchers, is likely down to the fact that obesity is already a strong risk factor for the disease, and that could have masked the effects of alcohol on pancreatic cancer risk for the overweight subjects.

Another interesting finding was that the effects of alcohol were the same regardless of the type which was consumed.

How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer - Tips and Suggestions

Pancreatic cancer presents little or no symptoms in its initial stages, so diagnosis often only occurs after the disease has become relatively advanced. According to the American Cancer Society, the condition struck almost 38,000 Americans in 2008, and it accounted for about 6% of all cancer deaths in the US in that year. What are some simple steps which we can take to prevent this disease?

Do Not Smoke
Cigarette smoking raises risk for almost all types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. Smoking could in fact be responsible for about a quarter of all cases of the disease.

Maintain Healthy Weight
Obesity has been, in previous studies, linked with heightened pancreatic cancer risk.

Consume a Healthy Diet
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, while lowering your intake of red meat and saturated fats. By doing so, you lower the stress placed upon your pancreatic gland, thereby reducing your cancer risk. Of course, fruits and vegetables also contain many health-protecting antioxidants and nutrients. Ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of B vitamins, such as B6, B12 and folate; studies have shown that, when consumed through dietary sources, they can lower pancreatic cancer risk, although this benefit was not observed when these nutrients were taken in supplementary form.

Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity lowers cancer risk.

Get some Sunshine
Vitamin D has been shown in many studies to greatly lower your risk of pancreatic cancer, as well as most other types of the disease.


Excess alcohol intake has already been linked to many types of cancer, including those of the mouth, esophagus, breast and liver. A recent study also suggested that just one alcoholic drink a day could elevate a woman's cancer risk.

Now, this latest study has added pancreatic cancer to the list. Being an exercise which analyzed many previous studies, its findings hold more weight than those from just a single study. Those wanting good health and longevity thus have one more good reason to stay away from alcohol, or at least too much of it.


Drink Up, Boost Pancreatic Cancer Risk? (

How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer (

Wikipedia (

About the author

Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.

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