Netdoctor & Patient Info

Does alcohol cause cancer?

Most of us are aware that knocking back the cocktails isn’t great for our health. Quite aside from the fuzzy head the next day, we know that excessive alcohol consumption is associated with everything from heart disease to liver damage. But did you know that alcohol also causes seven types of cancer?

Cancer Research UK estimates that drinking alcohol causes 11,900 cases of cancer a year in the UK. But not enough of us are aware of the connection between alcohol consumption and the disease.

A recent study in BMJ Open looked at women’s knowledge of the link between alcohol and breast cancer in particular. The research, which involved 205 women attending a breast cancer clinic, found that less than one in five knew that drinking was a risk factor for developing the disease.

The women were instructed to ‘write down anything you think might increase the risk of breast cancer’. While around a third mentioned obesity, and nearly half mentioned smoking, only 19.5% listed alcohol.

Read the rest of this article at Patient

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