Alcohol and cancer
Community awareness about the link between alcohol and cancer is low compared to other lifestyle risk factors. This is despite alcohol being an established carcinogen.
Drinking alcohol daily increases the risk of:
- breast cancers.
From a cancer prevention perspective, there is no 'safe' level of consumption identified for alcohol. Your risk of developing alcohol-related cancer increases with every drink. To reduce the risk of cancer it is recommended that people limit their alcohol consumption or avoid alcohol altogether.
There is no evidence that cancer risk varies between the type of alcoholic beverage consumed.
How much should I drink?
If you drink at all, follow the Australian Alcohol Guidelines recommendations for adults:
- Drink no more than two standard drinks a day to reduce your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.
- For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.
- If you are breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.
Read more about reducing the health risks of alcohol in the Australian Alcohol Guidelines.
How much is one drink?
- One 285 mL pot/middy of full strength beer (4.9 per cent Alc./Vol).
- One 375 mL stubbie of mid strength beer (3.5 per cent Alc./Vol).
- A small glass (100 mL) of wine (12 per cent Alc./Vol).
- Two-thirds of a 330 mL bottle of alcoholic soda (5.5 per cent Alc./Vol).
- A nip (30 mL) of spirit or liqueur (40 per cent Alc./Vol).