Women who drink a glass of wine a day are at increased risk for developing breast cancer, says a new research.
Alcohol is one of the contributors for number of cancers, including colorectal, liver, larynx and esophageal cancer.
A large study in the United States studied the link between alcohol and cancer among light to moderate drinkers.
The research found that light drinking, defined as up to one standard drink a day for women and two drinks for men, was linked only to a minimal rise in risk of all cancers.
A daily glass of wine increased the chances of breast cancer for women significantly, whether or not they smoked, since smoking is not linked to breast cancer.
One standard drink is defined as containing 15g of alcohol, which is roughly equivalent to a 118ml glass of wine or a 355ml bottle of beer.
For men who smoked, the risk of developing any cancer increased with a couple of drinks a day, but not in men who were non-smokers.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers based at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The data from two large US studies - the Nurses Health Study for women and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for men was used.
The study tracked the health of 88,084 women and 47,881 men for up to 30 years. The researchers assessed the risk of alcohol-related cancers including cancer of the colorectal, female breast, liver, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.
Dr Jürgen Rehm at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto said, "The raised risk of certain cancers caused by light drinking is important. Light to moderate drinking should be limited to no more than 10g of pure alcohol a day for women and 20g for men (roughly one standard drink a day for women and two standard drinks for men, as defined in most countries)."
Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, called for health warnings on bottles of alcohol like those on cigarettes. "This research confirms the results of previous studies showing that there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking when it comes to the risk of cancer."
"We know that the public are still largely unaware of the links between alcohol and cancer, particularly the increased risk of developing breast cancer. We all have a right to know what we are putting into our bodies and at the minute consumers are being denied this right. It's time that this changed; we need mandatory health warnings on alcohol labels so that people know the facts and can make an informed choice," said Gilmore.
The research was published online by the British Medical Journal.