Alcohol and Cancer: A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

J Clin Oncol. 2018 Jan 1;36(1):83-93. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155. Epub 2017 Nov 7.


Alcohol drinking is an established risk factor for several malignancies, and it is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer. The Cancer Prevention Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention. In addition, the role of alcohol drinking on outcomes in patients with cancer is in its formative stages, and ASCO can play a key role by generating a research agenda. Also, ASCO could provide needed leadership in the cancer community on this issue. In the issuance of this statement, ASCO joins a growing number of international organizations by establishing a platform to support effective public health strategies in this area. The goals of this statement are to: • Promote public education about the risks between alcohol abuse and certain types of cancer; • Support policy efforts to reduce the risk of cancer through evidence-based strategies that prevent excessive use of alcohol; • Provide education to oncology providers about the influence of excessive alcohol use and cancer risks and treatment complications, including clarification of conflicting evidence; and • Identify areas of needed research regarding the relationship between alcohol use and cancer risk and outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / education
  • Medical Oncology / methods*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Public Health / methods
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States