Just one alcoholic drink a day substantially increases a woman's risk of developing cancer, according to an Oxford University study.
The rates for individual cancers varied, with one drink a day causing a 12% rise in the risk of breast cancer and a 44% rise in cancer of the larynx. Other cancers included rectum, liver, mouth and throat cancers.
The risk doubles for every additional drink up to a maximum of three, so that women who drank two drinks a day had a 24% increased risk of breast cancer and an 88% increased risk of cancer of the larynx.
The researchers found that among women drinkers, consuming one drink a day increased the risk of all types of cancer by 6% by the time they were 75.
Epidemiologist Dr Naomi Allen said the study looked specifically at women who consumed low to moderate levels of alcohol - defined as three drinks a day or fewer.
She said: "These findings suggest that even relatively low levels of drinking - about one or two alcoholic drinks every day - increase a woman's risk of developing cancer of the breast, liver and rectum, and in smokers, cancers of the mouth and throat."