I spent my entire adult life as a “social drinker”. A glass or two of red wine every night was my routine. More than a few glasses of Irish Whiskey and a great cigar around the fire pit with my buddies when I was in Colorado was a common scene on weekend nights.
When I was diagnosed with AML leukemia, one of the first questions I was asked at MD Anderson Cancer Center was whether I drank alcohol. The second question was whether I smoked. A new medical study explains why they asked me about alcohol consumption.
The Guardian, reports that a new study has found a link between drinking alcohol and cancer. The study, published in the journal Nature, indicates that alcohol causes cancer by scrambling DNA in cells, which eventually leads to mutations.
Given that the stem cells in my bone marrow showed signs of four DNA mutations all of which put me in the high risk category for death by AML, I am not going to take any chances with my new stem cells donated by my brother Mark. I am now officially a teetotaler. It’s not going to be easy. If I see someone in a restaurant ordering a bottle of Opus One, I’m still going to start salivating. When I see a bottle of Tullamore DEW in the store, I know I will slow my pace and start an internal debate. But having gone through two years of cancer treatment and having put Mary Pat through hell and back, I think I’m up to the task. Goodbye alcohol. Hello life.