Health Matters

Alcohol consumption can have both long-term and short-term impacts on a person’s health. It’s important to inform yourself of the risks!

Alcohol and Cancer

Alcohol consumption is a factor known cause of cancer. In fact, one standard drink a day can, on average, increase your risk of developing:

• Breast cancer
• Colorectal cancer
• Liver cancer
• Head and neck cancers

Alcohol and other Chronic Illnesses

Heavy drinking and binge drinking increases your risk of developing a number of chronic illnesses significantly, including, but not limited to:

  • Liver damage (cirrhosis of the liver) – A life threatening illness that can lead to lowered liver function and possibly liver failure.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) – The risk of hypertension increases for both men and women who consume more than one drink per day; however, for women who consume more than six drinks per day during their life, the risk goes up by 1,400 per cent!
  • Diabetes – Overconsuming alcohol increases your chance of developing diabetes, especially in women. If a woman consumes more than six drinks per day during her life, her risk of developing diabetes goes up by 1,560 per cent!
  • Heart Disease and Stroke – According to Statistics Canada, every seven minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. The fact is that heavy drinkers and binge drinkers have a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

By monitoring how much you drink, you can lower your risks!

Discuss with your health-care provider the impact alcohol may have on your life.

    • Choosing to not drink alcohol at all may be the best decision for some people.
    • To reduce your risk even further, plan to have at least two days throughout the week where there is no drinking at all.
    • If you do not drink, do not start!
    • Keep in mind, no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, when planning to become pregnant or breastfeed.
    • To further limit cancer risk, it is suggested that you drink even lower than the low-risk drinking guidelines.