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Alcohol consumption directly causes cancer, new study shows

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — Scientists have been digging into the link between alcohol use and cancer for decades.

But in a first-of-its-kind study, researchers in China found irrefutable evidence drinking too much booze directly causes cancer. 

Dr. Tod Huntley, head and neck surgeon at Ascension St. Vincent, explained to News 8 the mechanism behind the cause.

“There’s a strong consensus in the scientific community that drinking can cause several types of cancers in several different ways,” he said. “One is a direct irritant to the tissue in the lining of the throat and esophagus. Secondly – and this is what the study was looking at – alcohol is metabolized into a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which is a known human carcinogen and a toxin that can affect DNA and certain proteins.” 

Acetaldehyde, Huntley adds, destroys the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis.

He goes on to say alcohol also affects how our bodies process nutrients that guard against cancers such as folate and vitamin C.