Alcohol 'causes 13,000 cancer cases a year'

April 10, 2011 - 0:0

Alcohol causes about 13,000 cancers a year in Britain, according to a pan-European study published today (FRI) in the British Medical Journal.

It causes about 9,000 cases in men - about eight percent of cases in males - and about 4,000 in women - about three percent.
A team of researchers found that most of these cases were caused by people drinking more than the recommended daily limits for alcohol, although even drinking small amounts added to the risk of some cancers developing.
In Britain alcohol causes about 6,000 cancers of the mouth, food-pipe, voice-box and pharynx - the area at the back of the mouth and top of the throat - 3,000 bowel cancers and 2,500 breast cancers.
The study looked at the incidence of cancer in more than 350,000 Europeans between 1992 and 2000, who were asked about their alcohol consumption.
Naomi Allen, a Cancer Research UK epidemiologist based at Oxford University, said: “This research supports existing evidence that alcohol causes cancer and that the risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts.”
She warned: the “results from this study reflect the impact of people’s drinking habits about 10 years ago.
People are drinking even more now than then and this could lead to more people developing cancer because of alcohol in the future.”
Sara Hiom, director of health information at the charity, added: “Many people just don’t know that drinking alcohol can increase their cancer risk.”
(Source: Daily Telegraph)