Speak to a registered nurse.
Call the Beating Bowel Cancer Helpline
(9-5:30 Mon - Thu, 9-4 Fri)

020 8973 0011

or email

Alcohol and Bowel Cancer

The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that, if consumed at all, alcoholic drinks should be limited to two for men and one for women a day. For cancer prevention, they recommend not drinking alcohol at all. Their data suggests that 7% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are linked to alcohol consumption.

How much should I drink?

There is good scientific evidence linking bowel cancer with a heavy intake of alcohol. Reducing your alcohol intake to a maximum of 1 small drink a day for women or 2 small drinks a day for men, seems to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.


A small drink is half a pint of normal strength beer, lager or cider; one 25 ml measure of spirits; or one small 125 ml glass of wine. Bear in mind that serving sizes and the strength of some alcoholic drinks have increased in recent years, making it easy to drink more alcohol than you think.


Alcoholic drinks can be high in calories – cutting down on the amount you drink could help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and in turn help to further reduce your cancer risk.


Find out more about ways to prevent bowel cancer.

Find out more about cancer prevention and alcohol (external site).