Epidemiologic data on alcoholic beverage consumption and risk of cancer

Clin Chim Acta. 1996 Mar 15;246(1-2):121-41. doi: 10.1016/0009-8981(96)06232-8.


Recent epidemiologic data confirm the results of earlier studies in supporting that alcoholic beverage consumption is a cause of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and liver. The effect of a specified level of alcohol intake on absolute risk of cancers of the head, neck, and esophagus depends on the presence of other risk factors, especially smoking. Whether alcoholic beverage consumption is a cause of cancer of the breast or large bowel is unclear. Alcohol intake appears not to increase risk of cancer of the lung, bladder, prostate, stomach, ovary, endometrium, or of melanoma. Indirect epidemiologic evidence suggests that alcohol may be a weak causal factor for pancreatic cancer. Although heavy alcohol consumption increases risk of cancer of the head, neck, esophagus, and liver, whether moderate alcohol consumption increases risk at these sites is unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology