Monthly Archives: June 2013

Does drinking alcohol increase the risk of cancer?

By Susan M. Gapstur, PhD, MPH

Do you enjoy an occasional, or even a daily, glass of wine, beer, or other drink that contains alcohol? Many adults do. Indeed, 37% of adults in the U.S. report drinking low to moderate amounts, which is, on average, up to 1 drink per day if you are a woman, and 2 drinks per day if you are a man. Another 28% of adults drink more each day, which is considered heavy drinking. A drink of alcohol is generally defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Modest Benefit but Many Risks Associated with Alcohol Drinking


While low to moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, drinking too much alcohol can increase risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, sudden death and stroke. Overall, alcohol consumption is one of the top 10 contributors to sickness and death from injuries, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and suicides, sexual assaults, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, falls, birth defects, depression, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, and sleep disorders.

Additionally, there is a lot of evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk of several cancers.… Continue reading →

Choosing the best prostate cancer treatment for you

By Durado Brooks, MD, MPH

 

Much of the recent news about prostate cancer has focused on screening. In reality, screening is only one piece of the prostate cancer picture.  More than 238,500 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Most of these men will have to weigh a variety of treatment options and make a series of decisions about managing their disease.

So let’s look at some of the important questions men need to ask when facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and information they can use to help make these important decisions.


Question: “Does my cancer need to be treated?”

Answer: The fact that this is even a question comes as a big surprise to many men. The idea that they have cancer – but not treating the cancer – runs counter to the widely held belief that doing something is always better than doing nothing. In fact, most prostate cancers grow very slowly, and men diagnosed with prostate cancer often have other health concerns (like heart disease or lung disease). In many cases these other health issues pose a greater threat to a man’s health than does the prostate cancer.… Continue reading →