There is strong evidence that alcohol causes seven types of cancer and probably others, according to a review.
A study of existing research found strong evidence of a direct, harmful effect of drinking, even though scientists are unsure of the exact biological reasons why alcohol causes cancer.
Writing in the journal Addiction, Jennie Connor, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, said alcohol was estimated to have caused about 500,000 deaths from cancer in 2012 alone – 5.8% of cancer deaths worldwide.
Even people who drink at low levels are at risk.
Her review linked alcohol to cancer of the mouth and throat, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, bowel and breast.
She said: “There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites, and probably others.”
She said that based on current evidence there was no safe level of drinking and the risks were reduced for some cancers when people stopped drinking.
Source: Times Lives