Alcohol and Ovarian Cancer

The consensus of scientific medical opinion is that drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of developing cancer of the ovaries. The National Cancer Institute,1 Cancer Research UK,2 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),3 The American Society of Clinical Oncology,4 the Mayo Clinic,5 the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,6 the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,7 the MD Anderson Cancer Center (University of Texas),8 and the Abramson Cancer Center (University of Pennsylvania),9 among other groups, have examined the available research and concluded that drinking alcohol does not increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women in the United States.10 If the cancer is diagnosed and treated before it has metastasized or spread outside the ovaries, the five-year survival rate is about 93%.11

Common symptoms of ovarian cancer is bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urgent or frequent urination. Other possible symptoms are fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with sexual intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.12 These can also be symptoms of many other diseases, so it's important to check with a physician. Early detection of ovary cancer is important.

Drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for developing ovarian cancer. On the other hand, the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstaining from alcohol or drinking abusively.

Moderate drinking has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a women consuming three drinks in any one day with an average of seven drinks per week.

A standard alcoholic drink is:

Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol. To a breathalyzer, they're all the same.

There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) confers greater health benefits than any other.

Note: This website provides no recommendations for drinking alcohol and ovarian cancer or for any other health or medical matter and none should be inferred.

Readings on Drinking Alcohol and Ovarian Cancer risk:

  • (note: listing does not imply endorsement)
  • Bandera, Elisa, Nutritional factors in ovarian caner prevention. Nutrition and Cancer, 2007, 55(2), 142-151.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, smoking and ovarian cancer risk. ACOG Clinical Review, 2008, 13(4), 11-12.
  • Chang, E., et al. Wine and other alcohol consumption and risk of ovarian cancer in the California Teachers Study cohort. Cancer Causes and Control, 2007, 18(1), 91-103.
  • Genkinger, J.M., et al. Alcohol intake and ovarian cancer risk: a pooled analysis of 10 cohort studies. British Journal of Cancer, 2006, 94(5), 757-762.
  • Goodman, M.T. and Tung, K.H. Alcohol consumption and the risk of borderline and invasive ovarian cancer. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2003, 101(6), 1221-1228.
  • Kuper, H, et al. Population based study of coffee, alcohol and tobacco use and risk of ovarian cancer. International Journal of Cancer, 2000, 88(2), 313-318.
  • Pelucchi, C., et al. Dietary folate, alcohol consumption, and risk of ovarian cancer in an Italian case-control study. Cancer epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 2005, 14(8), 2056.
  • Peterson, N.B., et al. Alcohol consumption and ovarian cancer risk in a population-based case-control study. International Journal of Cancer, 2006, 119(10), 2423-2427.
  • Schouten, L.J., et al. Alcohol and ovarian cancer risk: results from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Cancer Causes and Control, 2004, 15(2), 201-209.
  • Silvera, N., et al. Dietary folate consumption and risk of ovarian cancer: a prospective cohort study. European Journal of Cancer prevention, 2006, 15(6), 511-515.
  • Tavani, A., et al. Coffee and alcohol intake and risk of ovarian cancer: an Italian case-control study. Nutrition and Cancer, 2001, 39(1), 29-34.
  • Tworoger, S.S., et al. Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, and the risk of incident epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer, 2008, 112(5), 1169-1177.
  • Webb, P.M., et al. Alcohol, wine, and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, 2004, 13(4), 592-599.


  • 1. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors.
  • 2. Ovarian Cancer Risks and Causes.
  • 3. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors.
  • 4. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors andPrevention.
  • 5. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors.
  • 6. Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Prevention.
  • 7. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention.
  • 8. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors.
  • 9. Ovarian Cancer.
  • 10. Ovarian Cancer.
  • 11. Ovarian Cancer.
  • 12. Ovarian Cancer Symptoms.

Filed Under: Health

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