New study finds alcohol caused nearly 750,000 cancer cases last year

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Alcohol is estimated to be linked to more than 740,000 cancer cases worldwide in 2020, but it is often not discussed enough, experts say.

A strong correlation between alcohol consumption and various cancers in the breast, liver, colon, rectum, oropharynx, larynx and esophagus is present through new research published in The Lancet Oncology. Even social and responsible consumption could increase the risk of cancer, The Guardian reported.


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Yet only one in 10 people in a 2018 UK survey knew alcohol can cause cancer.

To fight the risks that contribute to cancer, researchers say alcoholic products need a label that warns consumers of the potential risk.

They also believe that alcohol should be taxed higher than it is currently and that there should be less marketing for alcoholic beverages.

Co-author of the study Harriet Rumgay from the International Agency for Research on Cancer told the Guardian, “The impact of alcohol on cancer is often unknown or overlooked, so we need increased public awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer, and policies to reduce overall alcohol consumption. to prevent the burden of cancer and other illnesses attributable to alcohol. “

Rumgay and his colleagues calculated the existing alcohol consumption estimates for 2010 and they estimated the risks factored into alcohol consumption, including sales figures and taxes.

“There is a delay between alcohol consumption and the possible development of cancer, so it is necessary to take into account a latency period between the year of alcohol exposure data and the year of the cancer diagnosis, ”Rumgay said.

With new cancer cases expected for 2020, combined researchers those figures with existing estimates, including records of previous years and not affected by COVID-19 disruptions.

Out of 741,300 cases in 2020, alcohol consumption caused 568,700 cases of cancer in humans, The warden reported. The remaining 172,600 were women.

The majority of cancer cases involved patients in their esophagus, liver and breast, But Looking at each type of cancer separately, the most common patients were affected in their esophagus, pharynx, lips and oral cavity.

Although excessive alcohol consumption is believed to cause many cancers, even moderate drinking has been linked with some cases, which led the authors to conclude that there is no level of alcohol without danger with regard to cancer, although the reduction reduces the risk.


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