Can Alcohol Cause Brain Tumors?

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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Can Alcoholism Cause Brain Tumors?

It is a question that many people suffering from alcoholism ask themselves – can alcoholism cause brain tumors? The short answer is yes, it is possible. However, it is important to understand that this is not a common occurrence.

Alcoholism is a disease that affects the entire body, including the brain. When alcoholics drink excessively, they are damaging their brain cells and causing them to die. Over time, this damage can lead to the development of a brain tumor.

However, it is important to keep in mind that not all brain tumors are caused by alcoholism. In fact, most brain tumors are benign (non-cancerous) and not caused by any sort of lifestyle choices or environmental factors. Still, if you are suffering from alcoholism and begin to experience symptoms of a brain tumor, it is important to see a doctor right away so that the proper diagnosis can be made.

Doctors have long known that there is a link between alcohol consumption and certain types of cancer. For example, drinkers are at increased risk for developing cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. But can alcohol drinking also lead to brain tumors?

A new study published in the journal Neurology provides some evidence that this may be the case. The study looked at data from more than 600,000 people in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

Overall, the researchers found that people who drank the most alcohol (more than three drinks per day) had a slightly increased risk of developing brain tumors. This was especially true for men.

Not all types of brain tumors were linked with drinking, however. The strongest association was seen with a type of tumor called an astrocytoma. This type of tumor begins in cells called astrocytes, which make up the supportive tissue of the brain.

The findings from this study should be interpreted with caution. They do not prove that alcohol causes brain tumors. But they do add to the evidence that alcohol consumption is linked with certain types of cancer.

If you are concerned about your risk of cancer, talk to your doctor. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk, including avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.