Alcohol and cancer
Balance used Alcohol Awareness Week 2013 to launch a campaign to highlight the links between alcohol and cancer.
Did you know that alcohol is in the same cancer-causing category as tobacco smoke and asbestos? They are all Group 1 carcinogens and alcohol is responsible for around 12,500 cases of cancer each year. But, importantly, you can reduce the risk by cutting down on how much alcohol you drink.
It’s uncomfortable reading but alcohol increases your risk of seven different cancers and the more you drink, and the more often you drink, the greater the risk. You don’t need to be a heavy drinker to be at risk. Regularly drinking a pint of premium lager or a large glass of wine (both are around 3 units) a day can increase the risk.
There are seven types of cancers that we know are linked to alcohol:
- Mouth cancer
- Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat)
- Oesophageal cancer (food pipe)
- Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
- Breast cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Liver cancer
However, the more you cut down on alcohol, the more you reduce the risk of cancer. The lower risk guidelines recommend no more than 2-3 units a day for women – that’s a standard 175ml glass of wine (ABV 13%) and no more than a pint of strong lager, beer or cider for a man (ABV 5.2%).
You could get further information and can see how much you are drinking by using the online drinks checker at www.reducemyrisk.tv