Alcohol linked to a tenth of cancer cases

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A new research study has suggested that 1 in 10 cases of cancer in men and 1 in 33 cases in women are directly linked to alcohol consumption.


The study claims that a significant number of cases of certain cancers, including oral cancer, breast cancer and oesophageal cancer, are caused by drinking; the findings suggest that 13,000 cases of cancer each year are attributed to alcohol.


Naomi Allen, a researcher from Oxford University who has worked on the study, said that there was strong evidence to suggest that alcohol is a major risk factor for many different forms of cancer. The study also shows that drinking in moderation can also contribute to an increased risk in cancer, although binge drinking and prolonged heavy drinking were found to be more harmful.


The study has been following participants across Europe and is an ongoing project; so far, the findings suggest that men have a particularly high risk of developing alcohol-related cancers, even when they stick to the recommended daily intake of alcohol.


The study found that men in Germany are most likely to exceed the daily recommended intake of 1 pint of lager per day, followed by Denmark and the UK; in the UK, 41.1 percent of men consume more than 3 units of alcohol per day and 37.7 percent of women consume more than the recommended intake of 1.5 units per day. Cancers of the pharynx, voice box and oesophagus were most commonly associated with drinking.


Sara Hiom, from Cancer Research UK, said that many people are unaware of the link between drinking and an increased risk of cancer. Cancer Research UK is now working with medical professionals and dentists to try and raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with drinking on a regular basis and encourage patients to look out for signs and symptoms so that cancer cases can be diagnosed and treated early.


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