Picture of a woman sitting in the background in the hospital.

News Release headerWant to Lower Your Risk of Cancer? Drink Less Alcohol

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Perth County – When you toasted in the New Year, what was in your glass mattered.

When it comes to alcohol, the more a person drinks, the higher their risk of certain types of cancer. Drinking less can lower your risk of colorectal, breast and liver cancers as well as head and neck cancers. In 2010, Cancer Care Ontario estimated that alcohol caused up to 3,000 cases of cancer in Ontario.

The link between alcohol consumption and cancer is important, as research shows that only one third of Canadians are aware that they can lower their risk of cancer by reducing how much alcohol they drink. As well, smokers who also drink alcohol are at an especially increased risk for cancers of the throat and mouth.

“We want to encourage adults to rethink their drinking and decrease the amount of alcohol that they drink to reduce their cancer risk,” says Annette Hoyles, Public Health Promoter. “This is especially important for those who have a strong family history of cancer.”

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends limiting alcohol to less than one standard drink a day for women and less than two standards drinks a day for men. Women are more vulnerable to the health effects of alcohol even when drinking small amounts. For women, alcohol increases the production of estrogen leading to a higher chance of breast cell mutation and a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

“If you are a regular drinker, aim for having a few alcohol-free days each week,” advises Hoyles. “Take it one day at a time with the overall goal of drinking less.”

Rethink Your Drinking is a campaign to help change the way we think about and use alcohol.

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