Drinking alcohol can be damaging to our health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to cancer.

Alcohol increases the risk of getting some types of cancer, such as cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach), stomach, bowel, liver, and breast. The more you drink alcohol, the greater the risk.

And if you have cancer, alcohol can also weaken your mind and spirit and intensify your emotions making it hard to stay strong during your diagnosis and cancer journey.

Dealing with cancer is stressful. It can lead to you facing some mental health challenges like depression and anxiety or feeling overwhelmed by sadness or anger. Not drinking alcohol and making deadly choices to deal with that stress will help you to deal with cancer better.

The less you drink alcohol, the healthier you will feel and be.

Helpful tips

If you would like to drink less, here are some tips that might help:

  • have a few days where you don’t drink
  • cut down how many drinks you have
  • get support from family, mob or community services to help you make a plan to reduce how much alcohol you drink
  • ask your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker about programs, counselling, and peer support if you find it hard to stop drinking
  • organise fun alcohol-free events for you and your mob to enjoy time together without drinking
  • keep active and exercise regularly

Health experts advise that adults shouldn’t have more than 2 standard drinks in a day and that women should further limit drinking alcohol to one standard drink in a day to reduce cancer risk.

Mob can find out more about what women need to know about alcohol and what men need to know. Have a look at this page to find services that will help you cut back on drinking alcohol.


For more information about what is a standard drink, drawn from Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol ( p. 1)

Life with and after cancer


Where can I get help and support?