The study, published earlier this month in the American Journal of Public Health, showed alcohol consumption was a contributing factor in roughly 1 in 30 cancer deaths in the United States, using studies done since 2000 combined with alcohol consumption patterns determined during a 2009-2010 survey.
For women, the study showed breast cancer is the main cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption. For men, it's cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus
Those who drank an average of 1.5 drinks or less per day were tied to at least a quarter of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths, and as many as a third.
"Clearly people who are regular, heavier drinkers are going to be at much higher risk for developing cancer than people who are lighter drinkers," said Dr. David Nelson, the Director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. regarding whether there is a safe level of consumption. But, he said there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption.
Researchers concluded that alcohol consumption is a major contributor to cancer deaths, and that limiting consumption is an effective and underemphasized form of prevention.