Drinking alcohol even in moderation — a large glass of wine or two large glasses of beer a day — can increase the risk of developing bowel cancer by 10 percent, a Europe-wide study has found.

And drinking about four large glasses of beer a day or around two large glasses of wine increases the risk by up to 25 percent, the study said. The average lifetime risk for bowel cancer is one in 20 for men and one in 18 for women.

Almost 480,000 people across 10 European countries were questioned about their drinking habits as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The ongoing research is funded by Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and other European agencies.

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The findings on bowel cancer, published online Sunday by the International Journal of Cancer, found that people who drank a little more than a half-ounce of hard liquor a day had about a 10 percent increased risk of the disease.