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According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “alcohol consumption is one of the most important known risk factors for human cancer and potentially one of the most avoidable factors, but it is increasing worldwide.” Cancers caused by alcohol consumption include those of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectum, liver, and female breast.

In fact, alcohol-related cancers claimed the lives of about 19,500 Americans in 2009 - or about 3.5% of all cancer deaths. Fifteen percent (15%) of all U.S. breast cancer deaths were found to be alcohol-related.

This is why in 2014 the United Nations has called for "multipronged preventive action including treaties and laws extending tobacco-style restrictions to alcohol and sweetened beverages" in order to stem the rising tide of cancer cases.  

Despite this, there remains a relative lack of awareness - among the general public and even many health professionals - about the role of alcohol consumption in cancer.


Learn more about alcohol and cancer risk:


U.S Organizations & Agencies

American Institute for Cancer Research

American Cancer Society

American Society of Clinical Oncology

National Cancer Institute

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


International Organizations & Agencies

International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization

Association of European Cancer Leagues

Cancer Council Australia

Cancer Research UK

World Cancer Research Fund International


Learn more about science-based, population level policies to reduce alcohol problems:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Community Preventive Services Task Force

World Health Organization

Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity