A new study suggests two alcoholic drinks a day can be enough to increase your risk of cancer

Research that followed the drinking habits of about 100,000 adults was recently published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Although ‘light’ drinkers in the study had a lower risk of getting cancer than non-drinkers did, participants in the study who reported even ‘moderate’ drinking — more than five drinks a week — had a slight but significant increase in their risk of getting cancer.

The risk for ‘heavy’ drinkers in the study, those who have several drinks per day, was much higher.

“You do have to be cautious. Alcohol is essentially a carcinogen. It affects pretty much the upper throat, the oropharynx, as well as the entire digestive tract,” said Dr. Benjamin Parsons, a hematologist-oncologist with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

Parsons also said that alcohol can contribute to the risk of developing prostate and breast cancer. He said alcohol is the third highest risk factor for getting cancer after smoking and obesity.