Health & Fitness

Bad news - white wine has been linked to skin cancer

Sorry to be the bearer's of bad news...

It seems like every week there's a new warning about something else being proven to give us cancer. From deodorant to talcum powder, over the past few years, dozens of everyday products have been labelled carcinogens.

And now there's a new one to consider – and we have a feeling you're not going to like it...

A study conducted by Brown University in America found that drinking white wine may increase your risk of cancer.

And not just any cancer – melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.


According to research published in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, white wine was most closely associated with invasive melonoma - more so than red wine, beer or spirits.

And we're afraid the bad news doesn't end there. According to Eunyoung Cho - lead author of the study - roughly 3.6% of cancer cases worldwide are associated with alcohol.

Cho, an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, explained: "For some, like cancers of the digestive tract, the alcohol actually comes in contact with the tissue, so it's easier to understand, but for others, like breast cancer, we don't really have a great explanation at this point why alcohol would be related."

However, she does have a theory as to why they may be connected: "A compound in alcohol called acetaldehyde can damage DNA, and prevent DNA repair, throughout the body.

"It's a well known carcinogen, so that could be a very general mechanism as to how alcohol relates to cancer at other sites."

However, it's worth bearing in mind that there haven't been many studies done on a link between alcohol and cancer, and of the ones that have been undertaken, the research has been inconclusive. Furthermore, in this particular study, there wasn't much information on each of the participants' sun exposure - something which is known to cause cancer - either.

The scientists did three studies that involved 210,252 people. They disclosed their drinking habits, where they lived and their health history, which included things like sunburn and tanning.

Over the 18 years that the study took place, they found that 1,374 people – which is less than 1% of everyone who took part – were diagnosed with invasive melanoma.

So basically, you don't need to ditch the white wine altogether, but maybe, you know, take it a little easy!

*Would you be able to live without white wine? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Closer magazine cover