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Alcohol may up bowel cancer risk

Drinking a pint of beer or a large glass of wine every day could increase the risk of developing bowel cancer, research shows.

Cancer Research UK funded a study of 10 European countries with 480,000 people and found that two units of alcohol drunk every day are enough to increase a person's risk of bowel cancer by 10%.

Study participants who drank three to four unit of alcohol every day increased their risk of bowel cancer by around 25%.

Cancer Research UK epidemiologist Professor Tim Key said: "The research shows quite clearly that the more alcohol you drink the greater your risk of bowel cancer.

"The increase in risk is not large but it is important that people understand they can reduce their risk of a number of different cancers - including bowel cancer - by cutting down on alcohol."

Dr Lesley Walker, director of Cancer Research UK, added that there is "a lot of confusion" over what constitutes a safe amount of alcohol to drink.

"This partly arises over the increasing strength of wines and beers and the fact that many pubs offer a large glass of wine that is actually equivalent to one third of a bottle," she says.

"While there is increasing evidence that over indulging in alcohol can increase the risk of some cancer, research also shows that by far the biggest risk for life threatening diseases is the combination of smoking together with drinking alcohol."

Cancer Research UK

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