Irresponsible journalism exists everywhere — even in the wine world.
There has been a lot of press lately about the connection between melanoma, a cancer that begins in the skin cells, and white wine.
Now we already know there is a link between alcohol consumption and many cancers, but the hysteria is overblown because we also know that lifestyle, heredity and frequency play a huge role.
A study done at Brown University, was recently published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Journal. It followed 210,252 participants for a mean of 18.3 years.
And the researchers found that:
--Overall alcohol intake was associated with a 14% higher risk of melanoma per drink per day.
--Each drink per day of white wine was associated with a 13 percent increased risk of melanoma. Other forms of alcohol — beer, red wine, and liquor — did not significantly affect melanoma risk.
--The association between alcohol and melanoma was strongest for parts of the body that typically receive less sun exposure
And we’re not doctors and we certainly aren’t pretending to be them, but:
--Alcohol dilates your blood vessels.
--Depending on your skin type, drinking alcohol can make you more sensitive to the sun’s rays.
--Your family history plays a role.
And there are lifestyle issues here too:
--People tend to drink more white wine than red outside in the sun.
--People sometimes drink too much and forget to reapply that sunscreen.
--And some people over-drink and fell asleep in the sun (Hello Spring Break).
So while we are not doubting the extensive research done by the folks at Brown, we are just saying consider everything in moderation.
If you are truly worried, then stay out of the sun. Stop going to the tanning bed and use a broad-based sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more every day, says Melanie Young , a seven-year breast cancer survivor and author of Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer.
And of course, the best defense against any cancer is moderation. Watch the foods you eat, stop smoking, keep your weight at a healthy level and exercise.
And of course stay current on any cancer-related screenings.
“At least wine is natural,” says Young.
So maybe you should put down the Diet Coke instead.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.