14 Mar 2009

Greater risk of prostate cancer through alcohol

9:59 pm on 14 March 2009

Men who consume two or more standard alcoholic drinks a day are 20% more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who drink less.

That's the finding of a survey of 35 studies from around the world by scientists from Australia, Canada, and the United States.

And the risk increases with the number of drinks consumed, says Tanya Chikritzhs of the National Drug Research Institute at Australia's Curtin University .

In an interview on ABC Radio's AM programme Ms Chikritzhs said this is the first time researchers have been able to tie down a relationship between prostate cancer and alcohol.

"What we're saying in here," she said, "is that the person who drinks consistently at higher than low-risk levels will have an elevated risk of prostate cancer."

Many men think that a couple of drinks a day can provide health benefits, but Ms Chikritzhs said the jury was still out on that.