Alcohol drinking causes seven types of cancer: oral cavity, pharynx, oesophageal, laryngeal, bowel, liver, and breast cancers.
Incidence of some alcohol-related cancers including oral, bowel and liver cancers is increasing, at least partly due to past increases in alcohol drinking.
Alcohol drinking caused an estimated 6% of deaths worldwide in 2012, 13% of which were due to cancer. Alcohol drinking caused an estimated 5% of deaths in England in 2010, around half of which were due to cancer. Reducing average alcohol intake in England by around one unit per person per day would avoid an estimated 8% of cancer deaths. Drinking too much alcohol causes 3% of cancer cases in the UK.
- World Health Organisation. Global status report on alcohol and health 2014. Accessed October 2014.
- Jones L, Bellis MA. Updating England-Specific Alcohol-Attributable Fractions. Liverpool John Moores University Centre for Public Health. 2014.
- Nichols, M et al. What is the optimal level of population alcohol consumption for chronic disease prevention in England? Modelling the impact of changes in average consumption levels. BMJ Open 2012; 2: e000957.
- Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018.
About this data
Data is for: UK, 2015, ICD-10 C00-C97 excl. C44.