Surgeon encourages women to drink less alcohol

Brisbane Waters Private Hospital breast and general surgeon, Dr Mary Ling, is encouraging women to drink less this February.
Independent research from the Torrens University’s Public Health Information Development Unit revealed in 2017 that the Woy Woy Peninsula had the highest breast cancer rate of the Central Coast, with cancer rates more than 18 per cent greater than the NSW average.
“The evidence is solid, with a recent Cancer Council Australia report stating that one in five of the nation’s breast cancer cases is now linked to excessive alcohol consumption,” Dr Ling said.
According to Dr Ling, alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in two main ways.
“The first is when the alcohol is broken down by the body into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, which can damage DNA in cells and stop them from repairing that damage, leading to cancerous cells developing.
“The second is by increasing the levels of oestrogen in the body, which is linked to the development of breast cancer,” Dr Ling said.
Aside from breast cancer, alcohol is also linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx (upper throat), larynx (voice box), oesophagus, bowel and liver.
“There is no level of drinking, or type of alcohol, that is considered safe for avoiding cancer.
“If you choose to drink alcohol, the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends no more than two standard drinks a day,” Dr Ling said.

Media release, 14 Jan 2019
Jane Worthington, Write this Way Media
Interview, 24 Jan 019
Dr Mary Ling, Brisbane Waters Private Hospital
Reporter, Dilon Luke

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