“Two alcoholic drinks a day raises cancer risks,” says study.
Why does nobody ever ask the question, “What is the real risk if you just do nothing at all?” I mean, if a couple of pints increases your risk, what does it increase it from?
So you don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you eat only vegetables and you exercise twice daily. What percentage chance have you got of the dreaded ‘Big-C’ after such saintly behavior?
“Approximately 38.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer of any site at some point during their lifetime, based on 2012-2014 data. Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2014, there were an estimated 14,738,719 people living with cancer of any site in the United States.”
So everyone of us has a more than one in three risk of getting cancer. To put that in perspective for you, every year in Ireland, 30,000 die from all causes out of a population of 4.5 million. So any given year you have a one in one hundred and fifty risk of dying from something.
That’s fine so far but the risk is less the younger you are and of course greater the older you are. An oncologist on the radio yesterday was responding to the news that cancers will double in Ireland in the coming years. Asked what could possibly be causing this, (we have a smoking ban after all), the smoothie specialist said simply, “All cancers are a disease of old age. The problem is caused because people are living longer.” Oh I see! So if we’d all just die in our sixties like our forefathers did the cancer risk would drastically decline. Now you know eh?
But back to the two pints a day and the increased risk. If one in three of us will get cancer and that is about to double, then pints or no pints, we all have a 30 – 60% chance of cancer. According to this report, “Consuming between one and four alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of bowel cancer by as much as 21%.” So if the average risk anyway is about 45% then the added booze daily brings that up to 54%. That’s about what the oncologist was predicting even without the drink. Remember too that this is correlation not causation. A risk is not a certainty. If you have a Lotto ticket you risk winning millions. The purchase of a Lotto ticket is associated with winning money whereas if you don’t buy one you have no risk at all. If you switch the Lotto analogy to cancer though, even if you don’t buy a ticket you still increase your risk of winning by 45%.
But these shock/horror reports that link everything we do to cancer just piss me off. You must know by now that the primary reason such research and reporting is done is to raise money for the people who do the research. Every one of the reports always include the proviso that the proof is not conclusive and that more research needs to be done. Guess who they’d like to see get a grant to do that? But because the press want to sell you news the report/research has to have a shock factor so correlation becomes causation when the reporter gets his hands on it.
I say, enjoy your drink while you have it. We’ll all be dead long enough.