One alcoholic drink a day increases cancer risk

Just one alcoholic drink a day increases the chances of developing cancer, according to a presentation this week at an Irish Cancer Society conference.

Drinking one standard alcoholic drink a day is linked to a 9% increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, while three to six drinks pushes the risk up to 41%, according to a story in the Irish Independent.

Alcohol consumption can cause cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectum, and is a cause of breast cancer in women.

Peter Anderson, MD, MPH, PhD, of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, said the risk goes up the more a person drinks, and the only way to lower the risk is to not drink or drink less.

Three people in Ireland die from oral and pharyngeal cancer every week, more than skin melanoma or cervical cancer, according to Dr. Anderson.

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