Researchers have warned that as little as one drink per day for women and two for men is enough to increase the risk of cancer. The clearest link was for breast cancer and experts are now reinforcing the message that people should limit how much they drink and understand the importance of having alcohol-free days.
The American study found that alcohol is linked to an increased risk of mouth, throat, gullet, bowel, liver and breast cancer. All types of alcohol were found to inflate the risk with the likelihood of getting cancer increasing the more people drank. Smoking and drinking together were also found to increase the risk of cancer.
Dr Jurgen Rehm from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada said that people with a family history of cancer should be particularly careful. He emphasised that they should consider reducing their intake to below the recommended limits of even abstaining from alcohol altogether.
Doctor Richard Roope from the Royal College of GPs commented:
“GPs do not want to be killjoys - but we want our patients to live long and healthy lives and lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol are very real risk factors in developing cancer and can’t be ignored.”
A spokesman from the Department of Health has assured that they want advice for the public to be as clear and relevant as possible which is why the current guidelines are currently under review and could change shortly.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available. You can also call us to talk about our residential treatment.