Health campaigners’ concerns as research reveals stronger links between alcohol and cancer

Colin Shevills.
Colin Shevills.

A new science study - which has provided further proof of booze and its connections to cancer - was today hailed by campaigners as “significant.”

The North East’s alcohol awareness group Balance has, for years, called for greater awareness of the links.

People have a right to know the risks. Today’s findings further reinforce the need for campaigns like our #7Cancers campaign running at the moment, to give people the information they need to make decisions about how much they drink and support them with practical steps they can take to cut back

Colin Shevills

But now comes strong new evidence in the journal Addiction.

It has found that alcohol directly causes seven types of cancer and they are mouth and throat, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, bowel and breast.

The findings come at the same time as Balance is running its own awareness-raising campaign, supported by Cancer Research UK.

It demonstrates that even relatively low levels of drinking can cause serious harms to the public’s health.

Balance director Colin Shevills hopes the latest findings will help to make even more inroads into the North east drinking problem.

He said: “Clearly these are significant findings reinforcing the strength of evidence which shows alcohol can cause at least seven different cancers. This latest research is in line with evidence released earlier this year by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers showing the risks of developing a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, increases with any amount you drink.”

Yet North East drinkers don’t seem to be heeding the message, said Mr Shevills.

“Worryingly, many people are still unaware of the links between alcohol and cancer, as a recent CRUK study demonstrated, with just one in 10 people associating drinking alcohol with cancer.

“That’s why it’s so important to make people aware of the risks so they can make informed choices about what they drink.”

Mr Shevills added: “Here in the North East, we have been campaigning for many years alongside our partners across the country, to raise awareness of the proven risks of drinking alcohol.

“How much we drink is one of the things we do have control over when it comes to our health. People have a right to know the risks. Today’s findings further reinforce the need for campaigns like our #7Cancers campaign running at the moment, to give people the information they need to make decisions about how much they drink and support them with practical steps they can take to cut back.”

Anyone wanting more information about Balance’s alcohol and cancer campaign should visit www.reducemyrisk.tv

More details are also available through www.facebook.com/balance.northeast and on Twitter @BalanceNE. People should tweet using #7Cancers