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Moderate Drinking May Lower Kidney Cancer Risk

But alcohol can raise odds for other malignancies, researchers warn

THURSDAY, May 17, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate drinking may lower the risk of a type of kidney malignancy called renal cell cancer, according to a review of data from 12 studies that included more than 750,000 people in five countries.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston concluded that women and men who drank an average of one alcoholic beverage a day were about 30 percent less likely to develop renal cell cancer than non-drinkers.

This reduced risk was seen in people who drank beer, wine or liquor. The findings are in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Despite their review, the researchers stressed that not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are the best ways to reduce the risk of renal cell cancer. They noted that alcohol raises the risk of cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, throat, esophagus, liver and breast, and possibly the colon and rectum.

"These healthy lifestyle choices (not smoking, weight control) should be encouraged, and doing so may also reduce the risk of many other cancers as well as cardiovascular disease," study author Jung Eun Lee said in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about renal cell cancer.

SOURCE: Brigham and Women's Hospital, news release, May 15, 2007
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