This site is intended for health professionals only

Drink linked to higher cancer risk

The risk of developing pancreatic cancer can be substantially increased through the consumption of just two alcoholic drinks a day, according to a study.

Research from Georgetown University in the USA found that 30 or more grams of alcohol a day raised the chances of developing the disease by 22%.

Those involved in the study defined "a drink" as 12 fluid ounces of beer, four fluid ounces of wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces of spirits.

The investigation, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, looked at data from 14 studies on the food and drink consumption of more than 860,000 men and women.

Dr Jeanine Genkinger said: "Our findings support multiple nutrition recommendations that men should limit intake no more than two alcoholic beverages per day and women should limit intake to no more than one."

Previous research failed to find a link between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk, despite drinking being associated with pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas - and diabetes. Both conditions are known risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

The type of alcohol consumed, such as beer, wine or spirits, seemed to have no difference to the risk.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention