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Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Potential Role in Cancer Prevention for Young Adults
  • Published Date:
    Sep 2017
  • Source:
    Am J Prev Med. 53(3 Suppl 1):S55-S62.
Filetype[PDF-283.64 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Prev Med
  • Description:
    Excessive or risky alcohol use is a preventable cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. Alcohol use is a common preventable cancer risk factor among young adults; it is associated with increased risk of developing at least six types of cancer. Alcohol consumed during early adulthood may pose a higher risk of female breast cancer than alcohol consumed later in life. Reducing alcohol use may help prevent cancer. Alcohol misuse screening and brief counseling or intervention (also called alcohol screening and brief intervention among other designations) is known to reduce excessive alcohol use, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that it be implemented for all adults aged ≥18 years in primary healthcare settings. Because the prevalence of excessive alcohol use, particularly binge drinking, peaks among young adults, this time of life may present a unique window of opportunity to talk about the cancer risk associated with alcohol use and how to reduce that risk by reducing excessive drinking or misuse. This article briefly describes alcohol screening and brief intervention, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended approach, and suggests a role for it in the context of cancer prevention. The article also briefly discusses how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to make alcohol screening and brief intervention a routine element of health care in all primary care settings to identify and help young adults who drink too much.
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