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Alcohol - The Science

Drinking alcohol is known to lead to the development of certain cancers.

The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk.

Alcohol facts
Drinking any type of alcohol raises your risk of developing cancer. The less alcohol you drink, the more you reduce your risk.

Alcohol can damage cells and lead to changes that can be a step towards developing cancer.

Did you know that...

  • Many people don't know that drinking alcohol can raise their risk of getting cancer.
  • It is the amount of alcohol someone drinks over time, not the type of alcoholic beverage, that is the most important factor for cancer risk. The more you drink, the higher your risk.
  • BC’s alcoholic drink sales are higher than the average for Canadian provinces.

What types of cancers are linked to drinking alcohol?

Drinking alcohol can increase your chances of developing cancers of the:

  • Bowel (key words: colon, rectum, large intestine)
  • Mouth and throat (oropharyngeal)
  • Breast (female only)
  • Esophagus
  • Liver
  • Larynx
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
Here are some BC statistics (2015 data*) on the number of new diagnoses (male and female) for cancers that were likely caused by alcohol use:

  • Bowel (colon, rectum, large intestine, colorectal): 172
  • Oropharyngeal (oral, mouth, throat): 115
  • Breast:  110 (female only)
  • Esophagus: 16
  • Liver: 12
  • Larynx: 12
  • Pancreas: 10
  • Stomach: 7

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SOURCE: Alcohol - The Science ( )
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