Some sobering facts about alcohol and cancer risk

Did you know?

Drinking alcohol raises your risk of developing head and neck, breast, stomach, pancreatic, liver and colorectal cancers. Smoking and drinking together – and the number of drinks you have – also increases your risk of developing cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol together are worse for you than either on its own.

Drinking about 3.5 drinks a day doubles or even triples your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.

Drinking about 3.5 drinks a day increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer and breast cancer by 1.5 times.

The less alcohol you drink, the more you reduce your risk.

Our recommendation

If you choose to drink alcohol, keep it to less than 1 drink a day for women and less than 2 drinks a day for men.

What is 1 drink?

One drink is about:

  • 142 mL (5 oz) of wine, 12% alcohol content
  • 43 mL (1.5 oz) of spirits, 40% alcohol content
  • 341 mL (12 oz) of beer or cider, 5% alcohol content