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Alcohol and Health

Does Alcohol Cause Liver Cancer?

July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 27, 2023
7 min read

The liver, though often underappreciated, is one of the most vital organs in the human body. A powerhouse of an organ, it performs a multitude of critical functions that maintain our overall health. It's the largest internal organ and is responsible for over 500 different functions, making it an indispensable part of our biological system. From detoxifying harmful substances to purifying the blood, the liver is our body's natural filtration system. It works tirelessly, ensuring that our bodies are free from toxins and harmful substances that we encounter in our daily lives.

Under healthy circumstances, the liver efficiently carries out these functions, thereby contributing significantly to our overall well-being. However, certain lifestyle choices, particularly excessive alcohol consumption, can cause liver damage and severely impact the liver's health and functionality. One of the most frequently asked questions in the health sphere is "Does alcohol cause liver cancer?" Let's delve into the topic of the alcohol-liver connection and see how the Reframe app can help you understand and manage your drinking habits.

Alcohol and Liver Cancer: The Connection

So how does alcohol affect the liver? Scientific research has established a clear link between alcohol consumption and liver cancer. Alcohol can lead to modifications in the liver, causing conditions such as cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis, which are known precursors to liver cancer.

Alcohol is metabolized by the liver. However, the liver can only process a certain amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess to circulate throughout the body. This process produces harmful byproducts, including acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation and scarring in the liver (cirrhosis), increasing the risk of developing liver cancer.

The American Cancer Society states that alcohol consumption is the leading preventable cause of cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Moreover, the combination of heavy drinking and other risk factors, like hepatitis B or C, can further increase the risk.

Understanding Your Alcohol Consumption 

While the link between alcohol and liver cancer is clear, it's also important to understand that not everyone who drinks will develop liver cancer. Factors such as the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption, genetic predisposition, and presence of other liver diseases play a significant role.

Preventing Liver Cancer: More than Just Alcohol Abstinence

While reducing alcohol consumption is a significant step towards preventing liver cancer, it's not the only factor to consider. A healthy lifestyle plays a crucial role in cancer prevention. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, healthy weight, and regular medical check-ups are all part of a comprehensive prevention strategy.

Moreover, if you have been a heavy drinker in the past or have other risk factors for liver disease, it's essential to get regular liver health screenings. There’s not a clear answer to how many years of drinking before liver damage sets in — it depends on individual factors, levels of consumption, overall health, etc. Early detection of liver disease can significantly improve the prognosis and reduce the risk of developing liver cancer.


What does alcohol do to your liver? Nothing good! The connection between alcohol and liver cancer is undeniable. However, understanding your alcohol consumption and taking steps to manage it can significantly reduce your risk. The Reframe app is an excellent tool to help you on this journey, providing insights, strategies, and a supportive community to help you manage your alcohol consumption effectively.

Remember, it's never too late to start making healthier choices. Whether you're looking to cut back on alcohol, quit drinking, or simply understand your relationship with alcohol better, Reframe is here to help.

In the end, the goal is not just to prevent liver cancer, but to improve overall health and well-being. So let's start reframing our relationship with alcohol today!

Protect Your Liver and Live Your Best Life With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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