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Mar 27, 2009

From Alcohol-induced Flushing Is Risk Factor For Esophageal Cancer From Alcohol Consumption:

There is growing evidence that people who experience facial flushing after drinking alcohol are at much higher risk of esophageal cancer from alcohol consumption than those who do not.

About a third of East Asians (Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans) show a characteristic physiological response to drinking alcohol that includes facial flushing, nausea, and an increased heart rate. This so-called "alcohol flushing response" is predominantly due to an inherited deficiency in an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). Although clinicians and the East Asian public generally know about the alcohol flushing response, few are aware of the accumulating evidence that ALDH2-deficient individuals are at much higher risk of esophageal cancer (specifically squamous cell carcinoma) from alcohol consumption than individuals with fully active ALDH2.

Esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide, with five-year survival rates of 15.6% in the United States, 12.3% in Europe, and 31.6% in Japan.

Researchers said: "Our goal in writing this article is to inform doctors firstly that their ALDH2- deficient patients have an increased risk for esophageal cancer if they drink moderate amounts of alcohol, and secondly that the alcohol flushing response is a biomarker for ALDH2 deficiency."

In view of the approximately 540 million ALDH2-deficient individuals in the world, many of whom now live in Western societies, even a small percent reduction in esophageal cancers due to a reduction in alcohol drinking would translate into a substantial number of lives saved.

Humphrey Bogart had Esophageal Cancer

Humphrey Bogart was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1956. He was notorious for his heavy drinking and smoking, two things known to contribute to esophageal cancer. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. His treatment included a nine hour surgery to remove the tumor, two lymph nodes, and a rib. The surgery was followed by a course of chemotherapy. At first, Bogart seemed to respond to the treatments but after 6 months the cancer recurred and he underwent radiation therapy. Unfortunately, Bogart could not fight the cancer and he fell into a coma and died at home on January 14, 1957 at the age of 57.

His last words: "I never should have switched from scotch to martinis.”
http://celebrities.healthdiaries.com/2007/03/

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Posted: Mar 27, 2009 4:34am

 

 
 
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Jenny Dooley
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