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Alcohol Use And Cancer Among Women

    Mar-03-2009

Although it may appear to be incredible to many, a clinical study involving as many as 1.3 million British women has suggested that consuming alcohol, even in moderation, is likely to augment the perils of having few specific types of cancer. It may be mentioned here that a team of British scientists investigated adult women at different breast cancer examination health centers regarding their alcohol consumption patterns and followed their health conditions for seven years.

While nearly 25 per cent of the women surveyed said that they did not take any alcoholic drink, each of the remaining respondents said that they had less than three drinks daily. On an average, these women reported that they had at least one alcoholic drink every day. From the data collected, the research evaluated women who drank the least, say two or lesser drinks every week, against those who drank more heavily. It was shocking to note that every additional alcoholic drink a day only enhanced the risk of some type of cancers like the cancer of breast, liver and rectal. According to the findings of these researchers from the University of Oxford that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the risks of having these types of cancer were irrespective of whether the women consumed beer, wine or liquor.

In fact the finding by the researchers from the University of Oxford confirmed the results of some earlier studies, but with a slight variation. While the earlier researches established that people who smoked as well as consumed alcoholic drinks were at the peril of having oral cancer and cancer of the esophagus, the new study established that consumption of alcohol could also cause breast, rectal and liver cancers. The new study also suggested that even women who drank moderately faced the risk of having thyroid cancer, renal cell cancer as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a cancer that begins in the lymph system cells).

The general risk of having cancer is quite insignificant when we take the instance of an individual woman, but is terrifying when we look at the global scenario. Researches have shown that around 118 out of every 1000 women in the developed nations have cancerous growths of any of the cancer types mentioned above. And the risks increase when these women consume an additional alcoholic drink a day. To be precise, each extra drink a day adds 11 cases of breast cancer and 4 of the other types of cancer daily. According to the findings of the study conducted by the researchers at the University of Oxford, taking the entire population in consideration, at least 13 per cent of these types of cancers in Britain may be attributed to alcohol consumption by women.

Contrary to the older view that drinking alcohol in moderation was good for the health of the heart, the new research points out at the dangers of consuming alcoholic drinks even in moderate amounts. It may be noted here that according to the health directives in the United States women are warned against consuming more than one alcoholic drink a day. However, men have been permitted to have two drinks daily as compared to the women; they are supposed to burn up the alcohol in their system in a different way.

According to Dr. Philip J. Brooks, a researcher on alcohol and cancer at the National Institutes of Health, every one needs to balance their eating and drinking habits. He says that when people are aware of the information regarding health hazards posed by consumption of alcohol, they are able to consult their physicians regarding the different health hazards they might have to face if they do not follow the guidelines. Hence, it is advisable that each one of us must check with a competent doctor before continuing with our drinking habits.

Is your drinking just a habit?

While it may appear to be a 'simple habit', in reality you make an option to drink whenever you have one. In fact, this preference entails several factors - your reflections (the inner dialogue), your individual beliefs regarding alcohol as well as yourself, your sentiments and your behavior too.

Your desire not to have too many drinks too often (as you will be able to distinguish the harmful outcomes of consuming alcoholic beverages) will actually render you to drink less, subject to your provocation. It has been found that your partial motivation to have a drink comes from the fact that you consider it to be enjoyable, it aids you to unwind and others. Similarly, there is motivation not to take a drink, as you are aware of all the adverse and harmful consequences of consuming alcohol. Therefore, it is very natural that you will be in a predicament. The power of the dissimilar motivations you have will ultimately decide on how unproblematic it would be for you to opt against having a drink.

We will now try to explain this through an example. For instance, there is some development at your work place which is putting you under severe pressure and, hence, when you return home, you are usually aggravated and jittery. You are of the view that the stress at the work place will remain for quite some time and, maybe, to some extent, you also hold yourself responsible for a number of aspects of the current state of affairs. You believe that you are unable to deal with this stress properly and also think that drinking alcohol helps to effectively get rid of it. However, at the same time, you are fully aware that you should not take a drink owing to its negative consequences. You know that if you drink it will result in a bad hangover on the following morning and it will make you feel even worse. Hence, your internal thinking, or dialogue with your inner self, may possible go this way - "I sincerely deserve a drink, as I have not taken alcohol for some days," or something like this - "I do not want this stressful feeling to continue, I need to end it now and drinking alcohol will help".

Nevertheless, troublesome feelings and emotional pain are all a part of our life and there is nothing you can do to escape from them. However, drinking alcohol handles them so effectually that it is very easy to become dependent on this substance to get rid of your agonizing feelings, albeit temporarily. Therefore, if you wish to reduce your drinking alcohol or completely discontinue it, you need to understand that you have to deal with such agonizing feelings in a sober manner, very much like you are. You are capable for handling your life, but you will not opt to undergo the distress, as it is very easy to become sedated by drinking alcohol.

In most cases, people start drinking alcohol because they believe that they are unable to deal with the stress they are experiencing or the difficult situations they are in. Actually, what does this imply? Irrespective of what may be occurring in our lives, no matter how agonizing they are, we always manage to overcome them and continue to survive. Precisely speaking, this is what we call 'coping with life'. Therefore, when we start believing that we are unable to cope with life, we actually surrender all our hopes of surviving soberly. In such cases, people resort to drinking alcohol which helps to transport one to a dream or virtual world where everything seems to be safe and fluffy. When one resorts to this, he/ she is actually losing their self-confidence and depending on false hopes.

If we want to get through our life in a sober manner, we should acknowledge these agonizing feelings and believe that we are capable of dealing with them naturally. We should never remove them forcefully through uncomfortable means, but accept them and feel them genuinely. Are you feeling stressed? If you are, then just see how it makes you feel to allow it to settle naturally as time passes. Are you feeling turned off? If yes, simply explore it and try to find out what it essentially connotes to you. Try to discover what you really can do to cure this mood. Examine it once again and find out what thoughts or requirements are related to this feeling. Possibly, doing all these will help you to comprehend a couple of solutions, irrespective of what they may possibly turn out to be.

Or maybe you simply do not believe that you are an important individual on the whole? In fact, your personal failure or an absence of some specific attribute may be responsible for all mistakes or all problematic situations. Yet again, when you drink alcohol, you start having good feelings about yourself, albeit for the time being. Once again, it starts biting you in retaliation. Therefore, to some degree, the solution may possibly also be something regarding mending that particular bond with yourself. Often, your thoughts regarding yourself may be some kind of a fiction created by none other, but you. In several ways, this type of continuous internal reviewer is very much removed from the realities of the world. Hence, you may start believing that you lack in some qualities, primarily because this is the way in which life has affected you. However, there is definitely a subjective view, which is in no way a fact, but simply a perspective.

Here, the aim is to help you to become aware of the different aspects that contribute to forming your drinking practice. Once you are able to comprehend these elements you may make an effort to solve each of these elements, instead of simply depending on your resolve not to consume alcoholic beverages. This is all the more important because by now you must have realized that depending solely on your will power to avoid drinking is not very effectual.

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