Drinking Alcohol and Bone Cancer Risk

Drinking alcohol (beer, spirits or wine) does not increase the risk of developing bone cancer.

Risk factors for bone cancer include:

Pain is the most common symptom of bone cancer, although not all bone cancers cause any pain. Swelling near a bone can also be a symptom of the disease. Because pain or swelling can be caused by many other conditions, it is wise to consult a doctor to have the problem diagnosed.

Drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for developing bone cancer. On the other hand, the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and living longer than is either abstaining from alcohol or drinking abusively.

Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a man consuming four drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks per week. For women, it is consuming three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.

A standard alcoholic drink is:

Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.

There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) confers greater health or longevity benefits than any other.

Note: This website does not make health or medical recommendations regarding drinking alcohol and bone cancer and none should be inferred.

Readings on Bone Cancer:

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  • Birch, E.V. Trends in Bone Cancer Research. New York: Nova Biomedical Books, 2006.
  • Byrum, S., et al. The promise of bone cancer proteomics. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2010, v. 1192 (2010 03 01), 222-229.
  • Canadian Cancer Society. Facts on Bone Cancer. Canadian Cancer Society - Société Canadienne du Cancer, 1988.
  • Cancerbackup. Understanding Bone Cancer. London: Cancerbackup, 2006.
  • Cancerbackup. Understanding Primary Bone Cancer. London: Cancerbackup, 2003.
  • Carr, M. Bone Cancer. Dallas, TX : Wadley Institutes of Molecular Medicine, 1989.
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  • Fluoride: It protects your teeth. Can it also give you bone cancer? Time. (October 24, 2005): 62
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  • My life - Katrina, 20, shares her story during her final days battling bone cancer. Seventeen. (November 2004): 57.
  • National Cancer Institute. Bone Cancer and other Sarcomas. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1990.
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  • National Institutes of Health. Bone Cancer. Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health, 2009.
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  • Rosen, G. Bone cancer. The Lancet, 1998, 9108, 1068.
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  • Sun, L. Identifying Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis Genes. Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center, AUG 2007.
  • Tucker, M.A., et al. Bone sarcoma linked to radiotherapy and chemotherapy in children. New England Journal of Medicine, 1987, 317(10), 588-593.
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  • Wirth, C.R. Metastatic Bone Cancer. Chicago : Year Book Medical Publishers, 1999.

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