Maclean's magazine reporting on the comments made by actor Michael Douglas during a David Letterman interview, that his type of throat cancer was due to a combination of alcohol and cigarettes.  Maclean's quoted Dr. Jonathan Irish, Chief of the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital:  "Smoking is by far the most important factor for oropharyngeal cancer, but alcohol alone increases the risk of this type of cancer, and smoking and alcohol together work synergistically." One of the leading theories about this "multiplier effect," says Irish, is that alcohol acts as a solvent, wearing away at the soft, mucosa-lined surface of the oral cavity, and increasing the ability of material-such as carcinogens in smoke-to flow into cells. Irish says, "The risk of a person developing cancer of the head and neck from alcohol alone is two to five times the rest of population, and smoking is 10 to 20 times. But you put the two together, the person will have about 40 times the risk of developing cancer."

For the complete article, click here:  http://lifestyle.ca.msn.com/health-fitness/health/rogers-article.aspx?cp-documentid=25668187


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