New Research Shows This Type of Drink Increases Your Risk for Skin Cancer

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We know about the connection between alcohol and the size of our waistline, but have you heard there’s now a link between alcohol and skin cancer? It seems pretty left-field, but new research reported on by DailyMail and published in the British Journal of Dermatology reveals alcohol increases the risk of certain forms of skin cancer by up to 11 percent. This may not mean anything to some of you, but for others who have suffered from skin cancer or it runs in your family, you may want to tune in. Here’s the scoop.

Researchers from Brown University examined 13 studies that compared alcohol intake with a total of 95,241 non-melanoma skin cancer cases, and what they found may surprise you. For every extra 0.35 ounces of alcohol a day (a third of a shot), the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma (BCC) rises by seven percent and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) by 11 percent. 

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There is not yet a definitive reason as to why there’s an association between the two, but researchers are referring to past research for possible answers, which point to the fact that the ethanol found in alcohol can metabolize into acetaldehyde in the body, which damages DNA and even prevents it from being repaired. (Note: Studies have shown white wine has higher levels of acetaldehyde than beer or spirits.)

Study author Dr Eunyoung Cho told DailyMail: “This is an important finding given that there are few ways to prevent skin cancer.” However, the study only reviewed non-melanoma cases, so the link between alcohol and melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) is still undetermined.

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