The number of cases of thyroid cancer has been increasing. The reasons for this increase is unclear. The known risks for getting this cancer include a family history of thyroid cancer and previous exposure to head and neck area radiation. However, most patients have neither of these risk factors. Interestingly, some preliminary studies have shown a lower risk of this cancer in individuals with moderate alcohol use, suggesting that alcohol may offer a protective effort on thyroid cancer. This study was done to see whether alcohol use is associated with a lower risk of thyroid cancer as had been shown in some previous studies.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Sen A et al . Baseline and lifetime alcohol consumption and risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma in the EPIC study. Br J Cancer 2015;113:840-7. Epub August 27, 2015.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This study was done in Europe at 23 centers. It was done over 18 years (1992 to 2010) and had nearly 500,000 participants. Data was collected and reviewed regarding alcohol use, health, educational level and thyroid cancer diagnosed during the study period. Average lifetime alcohol intake was calculated using weighted averages of intakes at each age. Baseline and average lifetime alcohol consumption were categorized as 0, 0.1 to 4.9 grams, 5 to 14.9 grams and ≥15 grams daily, with consumption of 0.1 to 4.9 grams/day used as the reference group. A small glass of wine or a can of beer contains about 10 grams of alcohol. The majority (70%) of the study participants were women.