Experiments on rats have shown that aspartame, the market names of which are NutraSweet® and Equal®, can cause the development of cancerous cells in different parts of the body. The common sweetener’s carcinogenic effects are increased when exposure begins in the womb. The Department of Health lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. The most common cancers linked to excessive drinking are head and neck cancers, as well as esophageal, liver, breast, colon and rectal cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.