Drinking and Cancer

This Health Review focuses on cancer sites associated with alcohol consumption as identified by the World Cancer Research Foundation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Due to the limited availability of national cancer statistics in many countries, U.S. data – which is publicly available and annually updated – is sometimes used to illustrate cancer risk in this review.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Update [June 2022]: Result tables have been added and content in the Biological mechanisms section has been updated in the breast cancer and colorectal cancer chapters. 

IARD Health Reviews offer a referenced overview of recent peer-reviewed, published research on the relationship between alcohol consumption and health outcomes. They are not intended to be exhaustive representations of all scientific research on a given subject and, as research is constantly evolving, they might not include the most recent findings. 

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These materials do not necessarily reflect the views of IARD or its member companies. The reviews report the findings of the referenced studies and are not intended to advise individuals about their drinking. People with specific questions about their drinking are encouraged to consult a healthcare professional. Together, they can determine what is best for that individual based on individual risk factors, including family history, genetics, and lifestyle. For some people, the better choice may be to not drink at all. 

IARD Health Reviews should be read in their entirety and not misrepresented or taken out of context.  

Chapter 1 Background (July 2021)
Chapter 2 Drinking and breast cancer (May 2022)
Chapter 3 Drinking and colorectal cancer (June 2022)
Chapter 4 Drinking and upper airway digestive tract cancers (May 2022)
Chapter 5 Drinking and liver cancer (March 2022)
Chapter 6 Drinking and stomach cancer (March 2022)
Chapter 7 Drinking and kidney cancer (March 2022)
Chapter 8 Discussion of conceptual and methodological issues  (October 2021)

Click "download" below for a document that brings together the eight chapters of the IARD Health Review: Drinking and Cancer. The material included in the document is identical to the individual chapters except that it combines the glossaries from each chapter into one page.

How to cite: 
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. (2022). Drinking and Cancer. [online] https://www.iard.org/science-resources/detail/Drinking-and-Cancer

How to cite chapter:
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. (2022). Drinking and breast cancer. Chapter 2. In Drinking and cancer [online]. https://www.iard.org/science-resources/detail/Drinking-and-Cancer