Date: February 19, 2018

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News Releases Archive

News Releases

Lower Your Cancer Risk: Drink Less Alcohol

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:37 PM

Point Edward, ON - Most connect tobacco and cancer, but when it comes to alcohol only one third of Canadians are aware they can lower their risk of cancer by reducing how much alcohol they drink.

Cancer Care Ontario (2010) estimates 3,000 new cases of cancer reported annually are alcohol-related. About 80% of Ontario adults consume alcohol.

"According to the Canadian Cancer Society, drinking less alcohol can lower your risk of colorectal, breast and liver cancers, as well as head and neck cancers," said Terry Easterby, Health Promoter at Lambton Public Health. "The more a person drinks, the higher the risk of cancer. In relation to the cancer risk, there is no 'safe' amount of alcohol, especially those with a strong family history of cancer.”

The Canadian Cancer Society suggests limiting alcohol to:

  • less than one drink per day for women
  • less than two drinks per day for men

The recommendations are slightly lower than those recommended by Canada's Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: no more than two drinks per day for women and 3 drinks per day for men.

Women are more vulnerable to the health effects of alcohol, even when drinking small amounts. Females do not metabolize alcohol as quickly as males. For women, alcohol increases the production of estrogen leading to a higher chance of breast cell mutation and a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

To reduce the risk, adults are encouraged to rethink their drinking and gradually decrease the amount of alcohol they drink to reduce their cancer risk and to support healthy lifestyles.

Ways to reduce your risks include:

  • Set small, reasonable goals
  • Regular drinkers should aim for a few alcohol-free days each week
  • Take one day at a time with the overall goal of drinking less to reduce your cancer risk

To learn more visit www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca or call Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331 ext. 3537, or toll-free 1-800-667-1839.

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Please contact:

Terry Easterby
Health Promoter
County of Lambton
519-383-8331 ext. 3537
terry.easterby@county-lambton.on.ca