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Cancer & alcohol

Last Updated: 15 January 2019








Cancer & alcohol

A study published in the BMJ in 2011 estimated that alcohol consumption causes at least 13,000 cancer cases in the UK each year – about 9,000 cases in men and 4,000 in women.  Someone drinking 100 g/day has a 4-6-fold increased risk of these cancers compared to light or non-drinkers.


The UK Government’s current recommendation is that men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units/day and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units/day. However, the European Code Against Cancer recommends no more than two and one units/day respectively to minimise the risk of cancer. On average, men in Britain drink 16 units a week, and women 8 units a week.


Written by Dr. Noel Duncan


1. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-15114325
2. http://cancercode.org/code-5/

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