Like a bit of a tipple? You may be increasing your risk of seven types of cancer. According to a new study published today in the journal Addiction, alcohol causes cancer in the oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast.
The link between alcohol and cancer is nothing new, with research going back decades. However, this study is large and comprehensive, covering 10 years of global data collected by World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Global Burden of Disease Alcohol Group and other bodies.
Conducted by Jennie Connor of the University of Otago in New Zealand, the study found that, while the biggest risk was to heavy drinkers, even moderate and light drinking constituted a cancer risk. According to the data, alcohol was responsible for 5.8 percent of cancer deaths in 2012, or around 500,000 people.
The causal link between cancer and alcohol was supported by the corresponding reduction in cancer risk when alcohol consumption is reduced.
And the risk is increased for those who both smoke and drink.
"We know that nine in 10 people aren't aware of the link between alcohol and cancer," Jana Witt of Cancer Research UK, who did not contribute to the study, told The Guardian. "And this review is a stark reminder that there's strong evidence linking the two."
You can read more about alcohol and cancer on the Cancer Research UK website.