Even light alcohol drinking could increase the risk of certain cancers including the lethal breast cancer, researchers reveal.
In a recent study conducted by scientists at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it shows that one drink a day for women and two drinks among men can boost the risk of breast, liver, colon, oral, and esophageal cancers, Time magazine reported.
Light to moderate drinking could also increase the risk of cancer on both men and women regardless if they smoke or not, Time added. However, the risk goes higher among men who smoke even if they quit the habit.
Study lead author Yin Cao, of School of Public Health, said “For men, especially those who ever smoked, they should limit alcohol to even below the recommended limit. And smoking and heavy alcohol consumption should be absolutely avoided to prevent cancer.”
Researchers followed the health-related behavior of nearly 136,000 men and women for three decades. The subjects’ age, weight, ethnicity, family history, and lifestyle were also analyzed.
The researchers defined light to moderate drinking as up to 15g of alcohol per day for women and up to 30g alcohol a day for men, the International Business Times noted.
The study, which was published on the British Medical Journal, revealed that those who consumed more showed a greater risk of alcohol-related cancers.
Alcohol had been linked to some types of cancer in previous studies but those researches where focused on heavy drinking. This is the first time that researchers looked at the connection of cancer to light to moderate drinking.
Meanwhile, according to ABC Health and Wellbeing, the average Australian adult drinks about 10 liters of pure alcohol each year, which is a major factor of illnesses and early deaths in the population.
Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) laid down some recommendations for low-risk drinking levels for those who can’t resist alcohol. The recommendations include drinking of no more than two standard drinks (10 grams) per day for women and men.