Link between alcohol consumption and cancer
Monday, December 7th, 2009
Excessive alcohol consumption has been blamed for an increase in number of cancers, according to scientists.
Over the past 10 years the number of people who are treated for mouth cancer has increased by 50 per cent and those suffering from liver tumours have increased by 43 per cent.
In addiction to this, there has been an significant increase in breast and colorectal cancer.
Many experts believe that an increase in the consumption of alcohol over the part 50 years is to blame for the rise.
Experts are calling for tougher measures on licensing laws and a crack down on 2 for 1 offers, price-cutting by supermarkets and the 24-hour drinking culture.
The most recent figures show a 53 per cent increase in the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer since 1997, from 3,225 cases to almost 5,000. In addition to this, there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of cases of cancer of the gullet from 5,397 to 6,487.
Both gullet and oral cancers are linked to excessive alcohol consumption, with the a fourfold increase of developing the disease for men if they drink more than seven drinks in a day and for women if they drink more than five drinks.
In the same period the incidences of liver cancer increased from 1,925 to 2,754, which is likely to affect those who drink two and a half time more likely than those who do not drink.
Women who drink heavily have a 60 per cent chance of developing breast cancer. The number of breast cancer cases have increased by 33 per cent since 1997 from 28,618 to 38,048.
There has also been an increase in the incidences of colorectal cancer by 14 per cent from around 27,00 cases to 30,727, with those who drink excessively increasing their chances of developing the disease by 50 per cent.
Research by Cancer Research UK supported the proposal than alcohol can lead to cancer. Their study showed a 25 per cent rise in the rate of oral cancer amongst men and women in their 40s.
Liberal Democrat spokesman Don Foster, said: “Excessive drinking has been on the rise for years, and these shocking figures show how dramatically the health problems of booze Britain are escalating. Ministers cannot turn a blind eye to the terrible problems alcohol is causing.
2The Government’s failure to cut alcohol consumption now is storing up problems for later. The appalling rise of alcohol-related health problems will only continue unless we crack down on reckless retailers and irresponsible drink offers.”
Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said: ‘Many people are not aware of the connection between alcohol and cancer yet it can be a major contributor or cause of the disease.’