CancerHealth News and Research

Drinking white wine increases the risk of skin cancer

What is the relationship between drinking white wine and melanoma? A team of researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, whose study has been published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, has investigated the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing skin cancer.

drinking white wine

Numerous previous studies have found that the consumption of alcoholic beverages makes us vulnerable to suffering not one, but up to 60 different pathologies. Among them, cancer, while the alcohol behind something more than 3% of the cancers that occur in the world. And one of these types of tumors, although it may seem surprising, is skin cancer or melanoma. In fact, the authors of this study assert that the risk is multiplied even if moderate amounts are taken.

Relationship between alcohol and cancer

In this particular study on the relationship between alcohol and cancer, it has been proven that the effect depends on the type of beverage, with white wine resulting in a greater impact on the risk of melanoma, unlike other alcoholic beverages.

Results that open up new avenues of research try to discover where the origin of this relationship lies, between white wine consumption and the greater vulnerability to suffer from skin cancer. The authors of this study consider as a possible hypothesis the harmful action that would exercise the acetaldehyde compound present in alcohol in the DNA, which would make it difficult to repair in any part of the body.

The explanation could also come from previous studies that have pointed out that wines are the beverages that contain more acetaldehyde, but the amount of antioxidants present in red wine would compensate the risks.

To carry out this research, they have collected data from three large clinical trials involving more than 210,000 people, who were followed up for 18 years, gathering information about their drinking habits, area of residence, clinical history and history of sunburn. The results showed that each daily unit of alcohol (12.8 grams/alcohol) can increase the risk of skin cancer by up to 14%, and only the consumption of this amount of white wine would increase the probability by 13%.

And combining alcohol consumption with another melanoma risk factor, exposure to the sun without proper protection, the effect is greatest in the body areas usually exposed to the sun. In fact, according to this study, and in comparison to those who do not drink alcohol (abstainers) consume 20 grams of alcohol a day increases by 2% the odds of a skin cancer in the head, neck or extremities and by more than 70% in the trunk.