World Health Organisation classes Alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen
Drinking alcohol produces a harmful chemical in the body which can lead to permanent genetic damage in the DNA of stem cells, increasing the risk of cancer developing, research on mice suggests.
Working with mice in a laboratory, British scientists used chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing to examine the genetic damage caused by acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical produced when the body processes alcohol.
Their findings offered more detail about how alcohol increases the risk of developing 7 types of cancer, including common forms such as breast and bowel cancer. It also showed how the body seeks to defend against the damage alcohol can do.