Drinking and Stomach Cancer Risk: What You Need to Know

Many people are concerned about alcohol drinking and stomach cancer. Does drinking alcohol cause stomach cancer? And will drinking increase the risk of getting the disease?


I.   Alcohol Not a Risk

II.  Risk Factors

III. Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

IV.  Alcohol and Health

V.   Resources

I. Alcohol Not a Risk

Fortunately, the moderate drinking of alcohol is not a risk factor for stomach or gastric cancer. Major medical groups have made this conclusion after analyzing all the evidence. Among many others, they include these prestigious groups.

II. Risk Factors

H pylori

drinking and stomach cancer
H pylori

Over 10,000 people die each year in the U.S. from stomach or gastric cancer. It appears that the cause of most stomach cancer is infection from Helicobacter pylori (H pylori). There is strong evidence that alcohol drinking fights H pylori infection.1 Yet most people who have this germ in their stomachs never develop cancer.

There are many other risk factors for gastric cancer. Although having risk factors increases the chances of cancer, many victims have no risk factors.

Other Risk Factors

    • Male
    • Age (late 60s and older)
    • Smoking tobacco (doubles the risk of stomach cancer).
    • Working in the coal, metal, or rubber industry.
    • Type A blood
    • Family history of stomach cancer.
    • Stomach surgery
    • Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic-American or African-American.
    • Living in China, Japan, southern and eastern Europe, and Central and South America.
    • Cured meats, smoked foods, salted fish, or pickled vegetables in large amounts.
    • Pernicious anemia
    • Some types of stomach polyps.
    • Menetrier disease.
    • MALT lymphoma.
    • Epstein-Barr virus.

III. Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

    • Abdominal pain
    • Belching
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Vomiting blood
    • Loss of appetite
    • Problem swallowing
    • Heartburndrinking and stomach cancer
    • Indigestion
    • Dark Stools
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Premature abdominal fullness after eating.
    • Vague abdominal fullness
    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Unwanted weight loss
    • General decline in health

A person experiencing any of these symptoms should see a doctor.

IV. Alcohol and Health

Moderate drinking is not a risk factor for stomach cancer. On the other hand, moderate drinkers tend to have better health and longer lives. That’s in comparison to either abstainers or alcohol abusers.

A federal agency (NIAAA) has described drinking in moderation. It’s a man consuming four drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks per week. For women, it is consuming three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.

A standard alcoholic drink is any of the following.

    • 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beerdrinking and stomach cancer
    • 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
    • A shot (one and one-half ounces) of distilled spirits (liquor).

Standard drinks have the amount of pure alcohol. It’s 0.6 ounce.

No form of alcoholic beverage gives more health benefits than any other. That is, beer, wine, or distilled spirits are equally beneficial.

V. Resources: Drinking and Stomach Cancer

Web Pages

Popular Books


    1. Alcohol and H. pylori Infection.


This site gives no advice. Please see a doctor for alcohol and stomach cancer concerns.