HealthCancer risk signaled by unusual alcohol reaction, study reveals

Cancer risk signaled by unusual alcohol reaction, study reveals

Alcohol intolerance may indicate cancer
Alcohol intolerance may indicate cancer
Images source: © Getty Images | Calvin Stevenson

7:51 AM EDT, June 23, 2024

Cancer is a particularly insidious disease, often not revealing itself for a long time or presenting with very nonspecific symptoms at the beginning of its development. As it turns out, one of the first signals of cancer may be a reaction after consuming even a tiny amount of alcohol. These conclusions were drawn by a British scientist who conducted detailed research in this field.

Experts from the Mayo Clinic emphasize that alcohol intolerance often results from genetic factors. People with this disorder have problems metabolizing alcohol, causing even a few sips to produce unpleasant symptoms. In others, these symptoms usually appear only after an alcohol overdose.

The relationship between cancer and hypersensitivity to alcohol was investigated by Dr. Thurstan Brewin of the Royal College of Radiologists in the United Kingdom. The results of his work were published in the medical journal "BMJ." The findings are fascinating. The scientist discovered that people with alcohol sensitivities are at an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Symptoms of alcohol intolerance may include low blood pressure, facial flushing, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, nasal congestion, runny nose, hives, and exacerbated asthma symptoms. According to scientists from the Royal College of Radiologists, such ailments may appear in cancer patients. The obtained statistics confirm this. Of the 155 study participants, 79 cancer patients reported unusual pain associated with alcohol consumption.

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The health problems reported by patients were mainly related to Hodgkin's lymphoma. This cancer originates from B lymphocytes, often affecting people aged 15 to 35. Symptoms of this cancer include high fever, night sweats, unintended weight loss, and unexplained bleeding. Itching of the skin and excessive fatigue of the body often occur as well.

However, Hodgkin's lymphoma also often occurs in older people—especially those over 50. Importantly, it is relatively easy to treat. Standard methods allow its elimination in even 80-90% of cases.

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