MORE people in areas such as Hartlepool and East Durham are being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related cancers.
Campaigners at Balance, the organisation which battles to raise awareness of the dangers of drink, have carried out new research.
It shows that a 102 per cent increase in the numbers of men being admitted for cancers such as lip, oral cavity and pharynx over the last nine years.
Within the same period there was also an 88 per cent increase in the number of hospital admissions for alcohol-related breast cancer among women.
Hospital admissions for all alcohol-related cancer increased by 28 per cent in the region.
Figures also showed that deaths from alcohol-related cancers account for around one in five of all alcohol-related deaths in the North East.
Balance director Colin Shevills said: “These figures are extremely worrying.
“Alcohol is a poison, it’s in the same cancer causing group as tobacco smoke and asbestos we really need to continue to drive this message home.
“It’s important that people are aware of the serious long-term health risks associated with drinking alcohol, as well as the short term health implications.
“Alcohol is linked to more than 60 different medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, stroke and dementia.
“And it isn’t just the elderly or very heavy drinkers who are at risk.
“Research shows that you are three times more likely to develop cancers of the mouth and throat by drinking above the recommended limits.
“And regularly drinking just above the recommended guidelines increases the risk of getting breast cancer by around 20 per cent.
“Our advice is to stay within the Government’s recommended limits and to try and have at least two alcohol-free days each week.”
Department of Health guidelines recommend no more than two to three units a day for women and a maximum of three to four units a day for men, with at least two alcohol free days per week.
There are two units in a standard 175ml glass of wine (ABV 13 per cent) and three units in a pint of strong lager, beer or cider (ABV 5.2 per cent) so you might be consuming more than you think.