Teenagers who develop a habit of drinking regularly could be exposing themselves to some serious health risks, including developing forms of prostate cancer.
A study examining the effects of lifetime alcohol intake in relation to cancer diagnoses found that men who had consumed seven or more drinks per week, between the ages of 15 and 19, were almost three times more likely to suffer from high-grade prostate cancer in their adulthood. Moderate drinkers with ages 20 to 49 also face increased risks compared to non-drinkers.
The results come following a survey conducted at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center on 650 men participating in a decade-long project. Biopsies revealed 238 cases of low-grade prostate cancer and 88 cases with higher grade malignancy.
Researchers believe that one of the reasons behind these alarming findings might be the fact that adolescence is a period when the prostate sees important growth, making it more susceptible to cancer-causing agents.
While the article puts forward some startling perspectives, authors were quick to mention that, even though there is evidence of a link between alcohol intake and cancer, there is not enough conclusive data to suggest that it is the primary culprit. In comparison, current alcohol intake was not associated with prostate cancer.
The paper ends by concluding that “among men undergoing prostate biopsy, heavier alcohol intake earlier in life and higher cumulative lifetime intake were positively associated with high-grade prostate cancer diagnosis, while current intake was unrelated to prostate cancer”.
Knowing potential dangers ahead of time and making decisions accordingly can drastically improve lifetime health and life expectancy.