Alcohol and scrotal cancer. Are they linked? That is, does drinking alcohol increase the risk of developing cancer of the scrotum? In a word, no.
After studying the findings of research around the world, that’s the conclusion of major medical organizations. They include the American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and others.
In addition, these conclusions about alcohol and scrotal cancer risk apply to wine, beer and distilled spirits.
Scrotal Cancer Risk Factors
Risk factors for scrotal cancer include:
- Race. White men are more likely to develop scrotal cancer than are African-American men.
- Exposure to long-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVA). Doctors commonly use this to treat psoriasis.
- Occupation. Those working in certain occupations are at more risk. These include working in chimney sweeping, parafin, shale oil, cotton spinning, and machine operation. Also those in petroleum wax pressing, screw-making, and automatic lathe operating.
The incidence of scrotal cancer has doubled over the past 30 years. Men should be alert to any sore on the scrotum. Especially if it ulcerates or opens they should see a doctor. Fortunately, most lumps on the scrotum are harmless. But a man should take any sore seriously. Better safe than sorry.
Moderate Drinking Benefits Health
Alcohol and scrotal cancer aren’t related. Of course, that means drinking isn’t a risk factor for scrotal cancer. However, drinking alcohol regularly and in moderation is associated with better health and longer life. That’s in comparison with either abstaining from alcohol or drinking abusively.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has described drinking in moderation. For a man it’s having four drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks per week.
A standard alcoholic drink is a
- 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
- 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
- shot (one and one-half ounces) of 80 proof liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, rum, etc.
Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol. Specifically, it’s 0.6 ounce of pure alcohol. So to a breathalyzer, they’re all the same.
Finally, beer, wine, and spirits give comparable health and longevity benefits.
Resources on Scrotal Cancer
- Scrotal Cancer (includes photo)
- Primary Scrotal Cancer
- Occupation and Scrotal Cancer
- Primary Scrotal Cancer: Disease Characteristics and Increasing Incidence
- Books for patients, loved ones, and caregivers.
- Caine, W. and Garfinkel, P. The Male Body: an Owner’s Manual. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 1999.
- Bellenir, K. Cancer Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Health Information. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2007.
- Haylock, P. Men’s Cancers. How to Prevent Them, How to Treat Them, How to Beat Them. Alameda, CA: Hunter, 2001.
- Brewer, S. The Canyon Ranch Guide to Men’s Health: a Doctor’s Prescription for Male Wellness. NY: SelectBooks, 2016.
- Morra, M. and Potts, E. Choices. NY: HarperCollins, 2003.
- Murphy, M. At Five in the Afternoon. My Battle with Male Cancer. Dingle: Brandon, 2010.
Medical Articles on Alcohol and Scrotal Cancer
- Brown, A., et al. Study of Occupational Skin Cancer with Special Reference to Scrotal Cancer. Birmingham, Eng: U of Birmingham, 1975.
- Burmer, G., et al. Squamous cell carcinoma of the scrotum associated with human papillomaviruses. J Urol, 1993, 147, 374-384.
- Coggon, D., et al. Mortality from scrotal cancer in metal machinists in England and Wales, 1979-80 and 1982-90. Occupational Medicine, 1996, 46(1), 69-70.
- Crawford, E., and Das, S. Penile, Urethral, and Scrotal Cancer. Philadelphia: Sauers, 1992.
- Daar, A., and Ormiston, M. Alcohol and scrotal cancer. Brit J Clin Prac, 1981, 35(7-8), 281-282.
- Grossman, H. Premalignant and early carcinomas of the penis and scrotum. Uro Clin of North Am, 1992, 19(2), 221-226.
- Haggerty, B. Prevention and differentiation of scrotal cancer. Nurse Prac, 1983, 8(10): 45, 48, 50 passim.
- Harish, K. Urethral carcinoma mimicking scrotal cancer. J Ind Med Assn, 2009, 107(2), 108.
- Iiyama, T., and Watanabe, H. Scrotal metastasis from ureteral cancer. J Urol, 2001, 165(5), 1637.
- Lowe, F. Carcinoma of the scrotum. Urol Clin North Am, 1992, 19(2), 397-405.
- McDonald, M., et al. Carcinoma of the scrotum. Urol, 1982, 19, 269-274.
- Muglia, V., et al. Magnetic resonance imaging of scrotal diseases. Adult Urol. 2002, 59, 419-423.
- Onur M., et al. Scrotal ultrasonography. Androl, 2008, 40(1), 58-61.
- Roush, G., et al. Secular age distribution of scrotal cancer. Cancer, 1984, 54(3), 596-601.
- ______. A population-based study of survival after scrotal carcinoma. Cancer, 1985, 55(3), 666-671.
- Schwaab, T., and Nangia, A. Scrotal cancer. New Eng J Med, 2005, 352(19), 2002.
- Taniguchi, S, et al. Squamous cell carcinoma of the scrotum. Derma, 1996, 193, 253-254.
- ______., et al. Scrotal cancer. Brit J Indust Med, 1984(4), 437-444.
- Wright, J.L., et al. Primary scrotal cancer. Urol, 2008, 72(5),1139.
This website makes no recommendation on drinking alcohol and scrotal cancer. Always see a doctor for health and medical advice.