Drinking just four standard alcoholic drinks a day significantly increases a man's chances of developing breast, bowel, throat and mouth cancer, a new study has found.
A report by the Cancer Institute NSW in Australia has found that for men, four standard alcoholic drinks a day increased their risk of developing bowel cancer by 64 per cent.
Meanwhile for women, just two standard drinks a day boosted their risk of developing breast cancer by up to 22 per cent.
The report said that for both men and women, two standard drinks a day increased the risk of developing mouth cancer by 75 per cent.
NSW Assistant Health Minister Verity Firth said the frightening links to cancer had been usually ignored in debate over alcohol consumption.
"In fact, alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for a number of cancers, including those of the breast, bowel, throat and mouth," News.com.au quoted Firth, as saying.
"(It) is one of the most well-established causes of cancer. Worryingly, a third of NSW adults actively reject the notion that drinking too much can cause cancer," Firth added.
The report, Alcohol As A Cause Of Cancer, also discovered that nearly 12 per cent of all breast cancer cases in NSW could be directly linked to extreme alcohol intake.
Firth said the World Health Organisation now listed alcohol as a top-rated group 1 carcinogen.
"Ultimately, we cannot police every person's drinking habits. But we want to make sure people have the information they need to make healthy choices about alcohol use for themselves," Firth said.