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One alcoholic drink 'increases cancer risk'

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A study has found that women who have one alcoholic drink a day increase their risk of developing breast cancer by 12% and cancer of the larynx by 22%.

According to researchers from the University of Oxford, consuming just one alcoholic drink a day increases the number of cancer cases in women in the UK by 7,000 each year, heightening the risk of developing all types of cancer by 6% by the time women are 75.

The data from the Million Women Study, which examined more than a million middle-aged women, found that the risk doubled for each type of cancer for each additional drink up to a maximum of three a day.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows, for example, that women who drank two drinks a day had a 44% increased risk of cancer of the larynx.

Dr Naomi Allen, cancer epidemiologist and lead author, said the study looked specifically at women who consumed low to moderate levels of alcohol, which is defined as three drinks a day or fewer.

She said: 'These findings suggest that even relatively low levels of drinking increase a woman's risk of developing cancer of the breast, liver and rectum, and in smokers, cancers of the mouth and throat.'

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