Major new review agrees with us – alcohol is direct cause of cancer

22 July 2016 | Healthy living

Susannah Brown, Science Programme ManagerSusannah is World Cancer Research Fund’s Science Programme Manager

It’s been all over the news today - a major review of studies has concluded that there is evidence that drinking alcohol causes a number of different types of cancer.

It confirms the results of our Continuous Update Project, which found that alcohol is strongly linked to an increased risk of six different cancers.

Not just liver cancer

Many people believe that alcohol consumption is only linked to liver cancer (see image below), but this new study confirms that there is a strong link to many more.

Body diagram highlighting liver cancer

As well as liver cancer, our evidence shows that alcohol consumption is also a cause of cancer of the

Strong evidence

Drinking any amount of alcohol increases your risk. We see the highest risk in the heaviest drinkers, and the less you drink the lower your extra risk is.

With such strong evidence to work with, we agree with this report’s conclusion that alcohol consumption directly causes cancer.

Cancer prevention

For cancer prevention, our recommendations have long been that people should not drink alcohol at all, but we understand that this can be easier said than done.

Infographic displaying our ten cancer prevention recommendations

These findings will hopefully help people better understand the cancer risks linked to alcohol and will allow them to make more informed decisions about the amount they should drink.


Visit our website to find out more about the link between alcohol and cancer risk

Susannah Brown | 22 July 2016