Contrary to the popular opinion, drinking alcohol doesn't offer any protection against cancer, say experts.
It is believed that certain types of alcohol, like red wine, can help to protect against cancer. However, researchers from Cancer Research UK insist that as little as three units a day - about a pint of premium lager or a large glass of wine - can increase the risk of breast, bowel, mouth and food pipe cancers.
The risk is limited if women drink a little, such as one small drink a day for women (about two units a day), or two small drinks a day for men (about three to four units a day). The more we cut down, the more we reduce the risk of cancer.
In the body, alcohol is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyd, which gives headache in the morning but it does much more in the long-term.
Acetaldehyde can cause cancer by damaging DNA and stopping our cells from repairing this damage.
It can also lead to high levels of oestrogen, which have been linked to breast cancer. And it can cause cirrhosis of the liver, which greatly increases the risk of liver cancer, reports express.co.uk.
Alcohol can also make it easier for mouth and throat to absorb other cancer-causing chemicals, such as those in tobacco smoke. This is why smoking and drinking together increase the risk of cancer much more than either habit alone.
Red wine contains high levels of a chemical called resveratrol, which has some anti-cancer effects on laboratory-grown cancer cells. Scientists are testing purified resveratrol as a way of preventing or treating cancer. But this is a far cry from saying that drinking red wine can protect people from cancer.
"It's clear that all types of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer, including both red and white wines and based on studies done so far, there is no strong evidence that red wine could protect against cancer," said Ed Yong, Cancer Research UK's head of health evidence.