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WCRF/AICR
Global Network

Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.

For cancer prevention, AICR recommends not to drink alcohol. However, our expert report recognizes that modest amounts of alcohol may have a protective effect on coronary heart disease. If you do drink alcohol, limit your consumption to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks increase the risk of a number of cancers is now stronger than it was in the mid-1990s. There is convincing evidence that alcohol increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and breast, as well as colorectal cancer in men.

Alcoholic drinks also probably increase the risk of colorectal cancer in women as well as liver cancer.

Scientists are still researching how alcohol causes cancer. One theory is that alcohol can directly damage our DNA, increasing our risk of cancer. Research shows that alcohol is particularly harmful when combined with smoking.

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