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World J Gastrointest Oncol. Aug 15, 2010; 2(8): 322-325
Published online Aug 15, 2010. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v2.i8.322
Alcohol and gastrointestinal oncology
Gianni Testino, Paolo Borro
Gianni Testino, Paolo Borro, Department of Specialist Medicine, S. Martino Hospital, 16136 Genova, Italy
Author contributions: Testino G and Borro P wrote this paper.
Correspondence to: Gianni Testino, Professor, Department of Specialist Medicine, S. Martino Hospital, Via Ausonia 30/9, 16136 Genova, Italy. gianni.testino@hsanmartino.it
Telephone: +39-10-5552307 Fax: +39-10-5556738
Received: May 18, 2010
Revised: July 30, 2010
Accepted: August 6, 2010
Published online: August 15, 2010

Results from several large epidemiological studies have firmly established that alcohol is associated with elevated cancer incidence and mortality. Recently the International Agency for Cancer Research stated that acetaldehyde associated with alcoholic beverages is carcinogenic to humans and confirmed the Group 1 classification of alcohol consumption and of ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption causes cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colorectum, liver, pancreas and female breast. The frequency of most alcohol-induced diseases increases in a linear fashion as intake increases: oral, oesophagus and colon cancer fall into this pattern. Very little is known about safe margins of alcohol consumption. US Department of Health and Human Services suggest a maximum of 28 g of alcohol a day in man and half of this in women.

Keywords: Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Cancer, Alcohol