A glass of wine each evening is enough to increase your risk of developing cancer, women are being warned.
Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases - mostly breast cancer - in UK women each year, Cancer Research UK scientists say. The risk goes up the more you drink, whether spirits, wine or beer, the data on over a million women suggests.
Overall, alcohol is to blame for about 13% of breast, liver, rectum, mouth and throat cancers, the researchers say. They estimate that about 5,000 cases of breast cancer in the UK - 11% of the 45,000 cases diagnosed each year - can be attributed to women's consumption of alcohol. The study looked specifically at women who consumed low to moderate levels of alcohol - defined as three drinks a day or fewer.
Over the seven years of the study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a quarter of the 1.3 million women reported drinking no alcohol. Of those who did drink, virtually all consumed fewer than 21 drinks per week, and an average of 10g of alcohol per day, which is equivalent to just over one unit of alcohol found in half a pint of lager, a 125ml glass of wine or a single measure of spirits.
Nearly 70,000 of the middle-aged women developed cancer and a pattern emerged with alcohol consumption.