Alcohol is a risk factor for cancer and may pose unique risks for cancer survivors. Population-based studies of confirmed cancer cases are needed to estimate the extent of drinking among cancer survivors and to understand which survivors are most at risk of alcohol-related health problems.


Cancer survivors who resided in the Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) region, were ages 21 to 74 years at diagnosis, and were 6 to 17 months post-diagnosis at the start of the recruitment period (April 2020–December 2020) were sent a survey that included demographics, substance use, mental health, and cancer-related items. Data from returned surveys (n = 1,488) were weighted to represent the characteristics of the Puget Sound SEER region. We estimated the prevalence of post-diagnosis alcohol use as well as demographic, behavioral, and clinical correlates of three levels of drinking: any drinking, drinking exceeding cancer prevention guidelines, and hazardous drinking.


The weighted prevalence of any drinking, drinking exceeding cancer prevention guidelines, and hazardous drinking was 71%, 46.2%, and 31.6%, respectively. Higher income and cannabis use were associated with increased odds of all three drinking levels. Lower physical health quality of life, having non-colorectal gastrointestinal cancer, and receiving chemotherapy within the last month were associated with decreased odds of all three drinking levels.


The prevalence of any drinking and at-risk drinking was higher than in previous studies and differed based on sociodemographic, substance use, and cancer-related factors.


Findings highlight the importance of identifying and addressing risky alcohol use in cancer care settings.

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