A new study finds that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cancer-related death. We’ll hear from one of the study’s authors, who says alcohol is responsible for 20,000 cancer deaths every year. But the study is not without controversy. Some researchers say alcohol may have certain health benefits, and that it’s risky to advocate total abstinence. We’ll look at the mechanism by which alcohol may increase cancer death. Should you give up booze altogether?

Thomas Greenfield, center director and scientific director for the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute, and one of study's authors
Christina Clarke, research scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC)
Curt Ellison, Scientific Co-Director, International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research

  • jurban

    I wish these studies would start incorporating genomic data. I believe we’ll look back on these population-based studies like we look back upon the ancient astrologists making sense out of planetary motion. The technology is there, it’s getting inexpensive, and it will provide greater insight into the root cause and effect.

  • Danielle

    Isn’t there a protective factor for moderate alcohol intake in regards to osteosporosis (which is a problem for older women)?

  • More about the study, and a link to the original publication, can be found on the Public Health Institute website,

  • shakey78

    I hear air can give you cancer.

  • sandra

    I urge listeners to check out the Susan B. Komen website and take a look at the Breast Cancer Risk Factor Table. Alcohol consumption is listed under the heading “established factors” (and was before this new study came out…). According to the table there is only a “weak increase” in cancer w/more alcohol consumption, but still something to consider I think.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor