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Estonian Cancer Society

People are not sufficiently aware of the link between alcohol and cancers. A survey in the United States found that 70 per cent of Americans were unaware of alcohol as a risk factor for tumours. 


A recent study compared the risks of alcohol and smoking to developing tumours and found that a bottle of wine a week equates to an increased risk of tumours of ten cigarettes a week for women and five cigarettes a week for men.


The data collected so far have led researchers to believe that there is no completely safe alcohol amount. The International Health Organization has classified alcohol as a carcinogen.

In 2017, the American Society of Clinical Oncology sent a clear message about the link between alcohol and cancer risk. The message is not as harsh as the information on the cigarettes, but it states: "If you want to reduce your risk of cancer, drink as little as possible or no alcohol at all. If you don't drink alcohol, don't start it!"

Find more from Estonian Cancer Society


Although alcohol has been included in the list of carcinogens since 1988, people are often unaware of alcohol use as a risk factor for cancer.

A 2014 report by the World Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also highlights the links between alcohol and cancer risk.

Researchers are convinced that there is no safe amount that will not increase the risk of cancer. Any amount of alcohol, and no matter how rare, increases the risk of cancer. The higher the quantities, the greater the risk.

Find more from is a website of The National Institute for Health Development


Estonian Temperance Union

Along with tobacco use and obesity, alcohol consumption is one of the most important preventable risk factors for cancer.

Alcoholic beverages are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1 carcinogen together with tobacco and asbestos. Alcohol causes cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast, intestines and liver. Researchers are increasingly convinced that alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor and that there is no risk-free amount for cancer.

According to the WHO Cancer Country Profiles 2020, 7.7% of cancer deaths in 2016 were caused by alcohol consumption. In 2018, there were 3,916 cancer deaths in Estonia, making the number of alcohol-related cancer deaths about 300 cases a year.

Estonia cancer data
Eesti Karskusliit

In cooperation with Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm Estonian Temperance Union published an infographic "Alcohol and Cancer: An Avoidable Risk."

Find full infographic HERE

English version from the AWARH

Alkohol ja vähk
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