A new study has linked drinking just a small glass of a sugary drink per day - 100 ml, about a third of a typical can of soda - to an 18% increase in overall cancer risk and a 22% increase in risk for breast cancer.
Consumption of sugary drinks has risen worldwide in the last few decades and is linked to obesity, which itself increases cancer risk.
The lead author of the study said the findings add to research showing that reducing how many sweetened beverages we drink would be beneficial for our health.
Drinking large amounts of fruit juice may raise your risk of cancer, according to a big study which has found a link between the regular consumption of all kinds of sugary drinks and the likelihood of developing the disease.
Those taking part had completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, created to measure their usual intake of 3,300 food and beverage items, and were followed up for a maximum of nine years.More news: Frank Lampard: Chelsea need to improve fitness
For every extra 100ml per day consumed on top of this, a person's cancer risk increased by 18pc for all cancers and, among women, by 22pc for breast cancer.
Graham Wheeler, senior statistician of the Cancer Research UK said, "This large, well-designed study adds to the existing evidence that consumption of sugary drinks may be associated with increased risk of some cancers".
Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian, said the "take home message is the absence of cancer risk in using diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners". When people drank the same amount of unsweetened fruit juice, they were also more likely to develop cancer, the researchers found.
"The results indicate statistically significant correlations between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and risk of all cancers combined, and of breast cancer", said Ian Johnson, nutrition researcher and emeritus fellow, Quadram Institute Bioscience, who wasn't involved in the research.
Sugary drinks have increased in popularity all around the world and these drinks have already been linked to obesity. Brown suggested further research was needed before we know.More news: Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny refuses to join pre-season tour
For prostate and colorectal cancers, no link was found, but the researchers said this might have been because the numbers of cases of these cancers in the study participants was limited.
He said: "Participants were followed on average for about five years, and 22 participants per 1,000 developed some form of cancer".
The study found that even when the group of sugary drinks was split into fruit juices and other sugary drinks, the consumption of both types of drinks was associated with a higher risk of overall cancer. But here's the more surprising part: so could fruit juices.
Responding to the study, the American Beverage Association stressed the safety of sugary drinks. The study didn't seek to understand the reason for the link, though the researchers speculated that sugar's effect on visceral fat, blood-sugar levels and inflammation may play a role.More news: Recovered GoPro video shows final moments of Himalayas climbers