2 drinks a day increase cancer risk

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Sydney, May 8 (UNI) Just a couple of standard alcoholic drinks a day significantly increase the risk of breast, bowel, throat and mouth cancer, study says.

A New South Wales Cancer Institute report found consuming two alcoholic drinks a day increases a person's risk of mouth cancer by 75 per cent and women's risk of breast cancer by 22 per cent.

Cancer Institute chief executive Jim Bishop said, ''We don't want to scare people but the fact of the matter is that increased alcohol, in terms of the number of average drinks per day, will increase the risk.'' ''The risk isn't huge-- it's around 10 to 20 per cent per average drink-- but if you have two average drinks a day every day of your life then that's the increased risk you're running.'' Assistant Health Minister Verity Firth said the risks of excessive drinking were well known, but the report showed even moderate drinking can be dangerous.

''What this report shows us is that it really only has to be two standard drinks a day before you increase your chances of developing breast cancer by up to 22 per cent,'' she said.

''So it really is seen as linking what was previously seen as quite moderate levels of alcohol intake to severely increasing risks of cancer,'' the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted her as saying.

The report drew together the results of an international audit of recent cancer research.


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