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Study: 20,000 Americans Die From Cancer Caused By Alcohol Use

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File photo of a person drinking an alcoholic beverage. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of a person drinking an alcoholic beverage. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages)

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ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis) - Researchers have learned that a significant percentage of cancer-related deaths in America can be linked to alcohol consumption.

My Health News Daily is reporting that as many as 3.5 percent of all cancer fatalities in the United States in 2009 were caused by alcohol use – an estimated 20,000 Americans in all.

“Alcohol is a known cancer-causing agent in humans, but it has been severely overlooked as a preventable cause of cancer deaths,” Timothy Naimi, a physician and alcohol researcher at Boston University Medical Center and the study’s co-author, was quoted as saying.

Researchers focused specifically on the types of cancer alcohol use and abuse can lead to, including those found in the liver, esophagus, colon and female breasts, the health website learned.

After extensively analyzing mortality and cancer figures, as well as alcohol sales figures and consumption surveys, scientists working on the study determined that approximately 18,200 to 21,300 cancer-related deaths in 2009 were attributable to alcohol.

Alcohol can also take away as much as 18 years of life from a given patient, My Health News Daily also found.

Those involved with the study hope it will serve as an eye opener of the detrimental effects of abusing anything from hard liquor to beer.

Said Naimi, “People need to know the impact of alcohol on cancer deaths because it’s another reason why they should not drink excessively.”

The study was reportedly published online in the American Journal of Public Health on Feb. 14.

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