Esophageal cancer and alcohol use
Esophageal cancer killed the actor John Thaw, but was alcohol to blame?
I missed out the Inspector Morse buzz when it was current and seeing Kevin Whatley as anything other than Nevil in Auf Wiedersehen Pet has scared me off ever trying to find out what all the fuss was about.
That was until I got delayed waiting for a flight and there was nothing else available to watch apart from an old episode of Morse. I loved it, and as is the case with most things that I get into – I wanted to know more about the writers and actors. I remembered that John Thaw had died quite young when I discovered he had died of esophageal cancer I wondered if he had been a heavy drinker.
Surprise, surprise Thaw had been a heavy drinker all his life until 1995 when he finally decided enough was enough and he quit for good. Six years later he was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer and despite initially responding to treatment cancer spread and he died in 2002 at the young age of 60.
Sad that such a talented man, who should still be alive today was taken by this evil drug so early in his life.
The exact way alcohol affects cancer risk isn’t completely understood. Actually, there might be several different ways it can increase risk, and this might depend upon the kind of tumor.
Alcohol is one of the leading causes of esophageal cancer
Harm to body tissues: Alcoholic drinks can act as an irritant, particularly in the mouth and esophagus. Tissues that are damaged may attempt to repair on their own, which could result in DNA changes in the cells that may be a step toward many forms of cancer.
Alcohol and its byproducts can also harm the liver, leading to swelling and scarring. As liver cells try to patch up the damage, they can end up with mistakes in their DNA, which could result in cancer.
Effects on other hazardous chemicals: Alcohol can act as a solvent, helping other harmful chemicals, such as those in tobacco smoke, get in the cells lining the upper digestive region more simply.
This might explain why the combination of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption is much more likely to cause cancers cells in the oral cavity or esophagus than either tobacco smoking or drinking alcohol by itself. In other situations, liquor may decrease the body’s ability to degrade and eliminate some hazardous chemicals.
Alcohol Has Been Linked To Cancer
Lower amounts of folate or other nutrients: Folate is a vitamin that cells in the body need to remain healthy. Booze use can reduce the body’s capability to absorb folate from meals. This problem may be worse for heavy drinkers, who often do not get sufficient vitamins and mineral such as folate in their food.
Low folate amounts may contribute to the risk of breast and colorectal tumors.
Effects on estrogen or other hormones: Alcohol can raise body levels of estrogen, a hormone essential in the growth and development of breast tissue. This could influence a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Consequences of body weight:
Excessive alcohol can add additional calories to the diet, which can add to weight gain in some people. Being overweight or chronically overweight is known to boost the likelihoods of many kinds of cancer.
Along with these mechanisms, alcohol may bring about tumors in other, as of yet unknown, means.
If you are worried about mouth cancer and its link to alcohol consumption you can find out how to stop drinking at the Stop Drinking Expert website.