I drink alcohol. I do. It’s a truth. It’s something that I know is bad but, of all the things that trigger my Catholic Guilt™, alcohol very minimally aggravates my self-flagellating tendencies.
But I know it’s bad. I can feel it. And I read and I read headlines related to science stories about how alcohol is going to kill us all, riding on a grape leaf road on a horse made of kegs, a headless monster of hops atop of it, wielding a wine jug face full of cancer juice that it hopes to lob at each of us. Alcohol is coming for us all.
And that wine jug face is full of cancer, apparently. We all know this. We read the news. We see headlines like “Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Increase Risk Of Certain Cancers, Experts Warn” and scoff with a “No, shit. (Please don’t take me, alcohol.)” The aforementioned headline is the latest booze fear tactic. Read it and weep but you already are so add these tears to your pool.
“The link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established,” Johnson added. He said he hopes that this knowledge empowers doctors “to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer.”
The new review of past studies on the link between alcohol and cancer, published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that approximately 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to alcohol consumption.
In addition, researchers said that in 2012, approximately 5.5 percent of all new cancer occurrences and 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths globally could be attributed to drinking alcohol.
Oh, bacchanalia. Oh, sweet seduction of mind altering intoxicants. Oh, cancerous belly juice of happiness.
I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot. At a certain point, after over-a-decade of fairly hardcore, decadent drinking, my body is spent. It doesn’t want the stuff as much and tingles in disgust at the thought of drinking every day as it once did. It doesn’t want the stuff most nights! It wants to be in a zen place, to finally be honored again, after a third – Almost half! – of its life spent greased up by fermented stuff and evil spirits. It’s tired (but not ready to stop) as it shifts focus to another borrowed time vice: marijuana.
You can reverse the effects of the drink though. But will you rise to the challenge?
If a drinker stops consuming alcohol for 20 years or more, however, their risk of cancer reverts back to that of non-drinkers, according to the researchers’ analysis.
I won’t. I like to think I would but I know I won’t. You might. You also might not. But, know again, that alcohol does not do a body good. It does a body bad. It cancers you until it cancels you but – Wow. – did we have fun taking the ship down.