Alcohol could raise risk of skin cancer
A study published in the British Journal of of Dermatology has found that drinking too much alcohol can leave the skin more sensitive to UV light, and that may make a person at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
Researchers say ethanol is converted to acetaldehyde soon after being ingested, which is a compound that could make the skin more sensitive. But, they also acknowledged other factors could be at play, including that drinkers may lay out in the sun too long without protective clothing or sunscreen.
Researchers looked at 16 different studies involving thousands of participants. They found that consuming one or more alcoholic drinks a day increased skin cancer by 20 percent. Risk increased proportionally with the amount of alcohol consumed. Those who drank 50g of ethanol daily, or a few strong beers, had a 55 percent chance of developing melanoma, compared with non-drinkers or occasional drinkers.
The scientists suggested that alcohol mixed with UV radiation can alter the body’s normal immune response, which can lead to greater cell damage and promote skin cancer growth.