SUNDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Though holiday partying
often includes alcohol consumption, cancer experts are urging
partiers to partake moderately.
"Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer," Clare McKindley, clinical dietician in the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said in a news release from the center.
"Researchers are still trying to learn more about how alcohol links to cancer," she added. "But convincing evidence does support the fact that heavy drinking damages cells and increases the risk for cancer development."
To reduce risk, experts say, drinkers can do a number of things.
First, stick to the recommended serving size. A drink is defined as
12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
Women should have no more than one drink a day and men should
have no more than two drinks a day, according to the U.S. National
Try to avoid high-calorie drinks. Many popular alcoholic drinks
are loaded with calories, especially those mixed with soda, fruit
juice or cream. A one-cup serving of eggnog, a holiday staple, has
about 340 calories. Being overweight or obese is also associated
with an increased risk for cancer.
Researchers believe that it is the ethanol or alcohol in beer,
wine and liquor that increases cancer risk. Check the ethanol
percentage numbers on bottle labels and stay away from 100-proof
Also try non-alcoholic drinks. For example, for a
"cocktail-like" beverage, try club soda and lime, McKindley
The American Cancer Society has more about
alcohol and cancer.