Objective To summarize epidemiologic evidence of alcohol as a risk factor for many types of cancers and discuss available resources to help patients reduce alcohol intake. Data Sources Published epidemiologic literature and resources available for alcohol reduction. Conclusion Heavy alcohol intake has been linked to increased risk of several cancers, including cancer of the colon, rectum, female breast, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, liver, and esophagus; whereas light-to-moderate drinking (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men) is not appreciably associated with cancer risk and may be beneficial for cardiovascular disease. Among the healthy population and cancer survivors, those already drinking in moderation may continue to do so. Interactive tools can be used to track drinking and set goals for reducing alcohol intake. Medications and social support are available for alcoholics. Implications for Nursing Practice Nurses may utilize epidemiologic evidence and resources available to educate patients about their cancer risk associated with alcohol intake and provide support for reducing intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Oncology Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • alcohol
  • alcoholism
  • cancer
  • cancer survival
  • light-to-moderate drinking
  • standard drink


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