Drink Tank

Summer series: alcohol and cancer

Every summer here at Drink Tank the team select our ‘best of’ posts from the year – our Summer Series.

This offers an opportunity to reflect on the year that was in alcohol policy and recognise the many achievements and revelations the sector has realised in the past twelve months.

So before the new year launches into full swing, sit back and relive, or perhaps catch up on, the team’s selection of our most robust and interesting conversations from preventive health experts, researchers and practitioners for your reading pleasure.

On Drink Tank today we’re highlighting the growing scientific evidence showing the links between alcohol and cancer and the alcohol industry’s desperate attempts to ensure consumers are kept in the dark.

This proved a popular topic among our readers in 2018 as the mounting evidence gradually becomes more widely-known and socially accepted.

Spoiler alert – alcohol causes cancer

Alcohol industry executives don’t want you to know that alcohol causes cancer. That’s because if people buy less alcohol, they make less profit.

As a consumer, however, you have the right to know when a product has the potential to cause you serious harm so that you can make an informed choice.

It is a common misconception that alcohol consumption is safe ‘in moderation’. Like tobacco, alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen – that’s the highest level given to a substance that can cause cancer.

In fact, your risk of breast cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer and oesophagus cancer is increased with any regular amount of alcohol and continues to increase with every drink.

This means that there is no known safe limit for alcohol consumption.

It turns out what you don’t know can kill you.

Keep reading

What is the link between alcohol and cancer?

Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia.

It is estimated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that we are among the highest consumers of alcohol worldwide. In NSW, a quarter of all adults drink at levels that place their long-term health at risk (2016 Chief Health Officers Report).

In recent years there has been public confusion over whether or not alcohol is harmful when consumed regularly (but not excessively), with media coverage claiming wine and other types of alcohol is good for you, with little research to support these claims.

Keep reading



Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy, and to provide a platform for all members of the Australian community to share their views and concerns.

Our goal is for the Drink Tank community to engage in robust discussion about alcohol, highlighting a broad spectrum of views and voices, and ultimately to raise the profile of alcohol as an issue of national importance.

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