Dry July: Alcohol and Skin Cancer

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Here at Claris Group, we’re experts on skin cancer assessment and prevention, so we’re excited to see so many people signing up for Dry July another year running! In this blog post, we’ll address the connection between alcohol consumption and an increased chance of contracting skin cancer, then fill you in on what you can to do to minimise your own risk.

Dry July – what is it?

The rules of Dry July are simple – sign up and stop drinking alcohol for the month of July. The money raised by participants is used to help support adults living with cancer, and in each of the past two years, Dry July has raised more than NZ$700,000, all of which has gone directly to cancer service organisations such as the Cancer Society of New Zealand, and to cancer care facilities, which often don’t receive funding for much-needed projects and resources.

While this is a great charitable cause, many Dry July participants also undertake the challenge in order to measure their potential for long-term sobriety. Often, the reason behind this is the perception that their drinking may have become a problem, and feel it now needs to be addressed. In recent research, the New Zealand Ministry of Health discovered one in five adults who drink also have a problem with alcohol, showing evidence of a problem on across the country. It’s important that you support those around you who are committing to Dry July, as the issues around alcohol are relevant on a national level.

What’s the link between alcohol and skin cancer?

In short, alcohol may be associated with skin cancer. Conclusions reached through combining the results of many studies have found that alcohol intake is associated with the development of the two common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as melanoma – which is not as common but more deadly. The risk of skin cancer is said to increase based on alcohol intake, with a 55 per cent increase in risk for problem drinkers, who in this case are classed as those who drink 50 grams – or five standard drinks – of alcohol per day.

What are some ways to prevent skin cancer through Dry July?

Limiting your alcohol consumption to a maximum of two drinks a day is advisable if you want to reduce the chance of your drinking leading to skin cancer. Reducing your exposure to other potential causes of cancer, such as excessive sun, is crucial to decreasing your chances as well.

Dry July is a great start for anyone looking to get their drinking under control, but if you’ve been drinking at a problematic level for a prolonged period of time and are concerned about issues such as skin cancer, booking an appointment at a skin cancer clinic or one of Claris Group’s related services can give you peace of mind. We offer a comprehensive, full-body skin check and mole scans, amongst our range of other services.

Workplaces can also get involved by creating a workplace skin cancer clinic for their employees with our team, so everyone can get checked without having to worry about booking an appointment. It’s a great opportunity to educate employees on the dangers associated with alcohol consumption and its link to cancer, so contact Claris Group today and make sure your office is skin-cancer free!

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