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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Friday, 8 April 2011 08:30 UK

Drinking 'undoubtably' increases cancer risk

Drinking more than a pint of beer a day can substantially increase the risk of some cancers, research shows.

A large Europe-wide study in the British Medical Journal found that one-in-10 of all cancers in men and one-in-33 of all cancers in women are caused by past or current alcohol intake.

Professor Karol Sikora, medical director of Cancer Partners UK, said the research used "the best data we've got and are ever likely to get".

The "take home message" was clear - the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to get the four common cancers.

"The message has to be - look at drinking habits and reduce," he said.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians and chair of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance, said the data indicated that the government would have to regulate if it wanted preventable deaths to decrease.

"Sitting back and waiting for people to change their habits... will not bring about the results," he said.

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