10 October 2011
Frequent alcohol consumption increases women's risk of dying from cancer by nearly a third, a study suggests.
The research found high frequency drinking (drinking on 3 or more days per week) drives the increased risk of cancer among women, whereas among men increased risk is linked to the quantity consumed, with 3 or more drinks on 'drinking days' raising risk by 24 per cent (American Journal of Epidemiology 2011; online 30 Sep).
Pooled data from more than 320,000 US men and women, including more than 8000 cancer deaths, showed there was a mechanism linking alcohol and cancer.
In relation to specific types of cancer, the study showed that women drinking high quantities of alcohol had double the risk of bowel and pancreatic cancer, and a 44 per cent increased risk of breast cancer. Men who drank on more than 3 days a week increased their risk of prostate cancer by 55 per cent.
Last Reviewed: 14 October 2011