Breast cancer is by far the most prevalent and one of the most lethal cancers for women in the UK. It affects around 1 in 8 women in the UK during their lifetime.


Surveys show that less than half of the British public know of any link between alcohol and cancer, and less than a third of a link between alcohol and breast cancer. However, lifestyle choices – in particular, alcohol – can have a substantial impact on the risk of developing breast cancer.

Did you know? 

  • In 2011, 3,000 of the breast cancer cases were directly attributable to alcohol consumption
  • Each drink per day increases the risk in women of developing breast cancer by between 7% – 12%
  • Alcohol has long been known to have carcinogenic (cancer causing) properties, and more than 50 studies have confirmed alcohol is a particular risk factor in the development of breast cancer
  • The exact causal mechanism between alcohol and breast cancer is not fully known – but it is likely due to the way alcohol breaks down into toxic chemicals in our body and increases the production of the female hormone oestrogen

Read more about alcohol and breast cancer here.