A new study linking cancer deaths and alcohol use demonstrates the strong link between addiction and primary care health – a core principle of Aquila Recovery’s mission.
David E. Nelson, MD MPH of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, cites his research work with colleagues in the American Journal of Public Health attributing, from 3.2% to 3.7% of cancer deaths to alcohol use. Some key points:
- Breast cancer and upper airway/esophageal cancer were highly affected by alcohol consumption. 56% to 66% of breast cancer deaths, and 53% to 71% of upper airway and esophageal cancers deaths were attributed to alcohol drinking.
- Alcohol-attributable cancers result in the loss of nearly 20 years of potential life.
- A third of the alcohol-attributable cancer deaths were people who drank less than 1.5 drinks per day.
“The relationship between alcohol and cancer is strong, but is not appreciated by the public and remains underemphasized even by physicians,” said Timothy Naimi, one of the study’s authors. “Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight.”
This is fresh evidence supporting Aquila’s drive to bridge the gap between primary care health providers and addiction treatment.
We can no longer tolerate the practice of depending more on the courts to refer people to treatment than on primary care doctors to do so. Waiting to treat patients until their late stage alcoholism results in crisis, accidents, or loss of life and is unnecessary, costly and often fatal.
NOTE: Dr. Nelson’s wife, Lynn Shaner, MA, is an Aquila guest presenter on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and is pursuing a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine.