Alcohol still causes cancer, even if you drink a 'safe' amount

Drinking a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol below the recommended daily limit increases the risk of developing cancer, with the danger remaining even if you become teetotal, experts say.

New research shows that one in ten cancers in men and one in 33 in women in Britain is caused by drinking – and the figures are on the rise.

Alcohol is blamed for at least 13,000 cases a year, including cancer of the breast, mouth, oesophagus and bowel.

Bingeing is responsible for most cases, but some are triggered by drinking at levels below the suggested daily total, according to the international report.

Oxford University researcher Naomi Allen, who helps to compile the ongoing study, said: ‘This supports existing evidence that alcohol causes cancer and that the risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts.’

The study has been tracking volunteers across Europe for years, and Miss Allen said the latest figures understated the risks now.

She added: ‘The results from this study reflect the impact of people’s drinking habits about ten years ago.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, is part of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (Epic), which began in 1992 and is one of the largest studies into the links between cancer and diet.

It tracked 360,000 people, mostly aged 35 to 70 when the study started, who were followed up to see how many developed cancer.

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