You may want to lay off the booze if colon cancer runs in your family, a major new study suggests.
Boston researchers, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said consuming even a few alcoholic drinks a day can raise the risk of developing colorectal cancer in men and women with a family history of the disease.
The study involved more than 87,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study and 47,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
Researchers found that people with a family history of colorectal cancer who drank the equivalent of 2.5 drinks per day were at increased risk for the disease.
“Higher alcohol consumption was associated with an elevated risk of colon cancer, although the association was significant only for the highest intake category of [2.5 drinks per day],” said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues.
“Reducing alcohol consumption may decrease the incidence of colon cancer, especially among those with a family history of colorectal cancer,” they added.