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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Cancer risk from a drink a day

25th February 2009

UK researchers have said that if a woman consumes one alcoholic drink per day she raises her risk of cancer


A team of scientists from Cancer Research UK said women drinking wine, beer or spirits "causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases" in the UK annually.

The danger of developing cancer increased according to how much a woman drank. 

The research looked at information on 1.3 million women over seven years and found alcohol was the cause of around 13% of breast, rectal, liver, mouth and throat cancers.

The team estimated that around 5,000 breast cancer diagnoses in the UK - or 11% of the 45,000 cases annually - were due to women drinking alcohol.

The researchers looked specifically at women who did not drink high levels of alcohol - those who drank three drinks daily or less.

Almost all the women who drank said they had less than 21 drinks per week. This averages out at slightly more than one unit a day - equivalent to a 125ml glass of wine.

The study showed that 70,000 of women were diagnosed with cancer and the researchers saw a link between cancer and the amount of alcohol consumed.

Drinking one unit a day caused an increase in all kinds of cancer by 6% in women up to the age of 75.  It caused a 12% increase in breast cancer, 22% increase in gullet cancer, 29% increase in mouth cancer, 44% increase in throat cancer and a 10% increase in rectal cancer.

Lead author Dr Naomi Allen from the University of Oxford said: "The findings of this report show quite strongly that even low levels of drinking that were regarded to be safe do increase cancer risk."

"About 5% of all cancers in the UK are due to drinking something in the order of one alcoholic drink a day."


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