World Cancer Day is a global event.

World Cancer Day is marked on February 4, every year, to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.

There are multiple initiatives run on World Cancer Day to promote prevention, raise awareness and show support for those affected by cancer.

#WeCanICan

Our own IOGT World Cancer Day campaign joins the #WeCanICan initiative.

Taking place under the tagline ‘We Can. I Can.’, World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

Our “We Can. I Can.” campaign asks WHAT IS WHAT? We are promoting alcohol-related cancer prevention and raising awareness of alcohol’s carcinogenicity by busting alcohol industry myths. Join us and spread the messages!

Professor Jürgen Rehm says:

The fact that alcohol is a carcinogen has been clearly confirmed.”

The IARC working group writes:

There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption causes cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colorectum, liver (hepatocellular carcinoma) and female breast.”

We Can. I Can.

Science knows about the correlation of cancer and alcohol use since the 1980s.

The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC), the WHO’s research body, classifies alcohol as class one carcinogen since 1988.

But similar awareness among decision-makers and broader public has not caught up to state of the art understanding of alcohol as a cause of 7 types of cancer.

Today a body of evidence exists and keeps growing, showing how strong the correlation between alcohol use and cancer risk is.

  • The IARC estimates (a study in France) that alcohol is behind 8% of all cases of cancer: 11% in men and 5% in women. After tobacco (18%), alcohol is thus the second biggest cause of cancer, long before other risk factors such as infections (3%), physical inactivity, or sunlight.
  • The World Cancer Report 2014: Alcohol accounts for 3.5% of cancers (about 1 in 30 cancer deaths) globally.
  • Recent data indicate that the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol worldwide has increased.
  • In 2012, alcohol consumption caused 5.5% of all cases of cancer and 5.8% of all cancer deaths.
  • Globally, in 2010: Alcohol-attributable cancer was responsible for 4.2% of all cancer deaths and 4.6% of all PYLL caused by cancer. Eastern Europe had the highest burden of mortality and morbidity from alcohol-attributable cancer, with 10.3 deaths and 272.0 PYLL per 100,000 people. North Africa and the Middle East had the lowest mortality burden of alcohol-attributable cancer, with 0.6 deaths and 17.1 PYLL per 100,000 people.
  • From 1990 to 2010 the absolute mortality burden of alcohol-attributable cancer (measured in deaths and PYLL) and the rates of deaths and PYLL per 100,000 people have each increased.

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Moreover cancer is not only a public health issue, and not only a ”rich world” problem, but has wide-reaching social, economic, development and Human Rights implications.

Alcohol remains a major contributor to cancer mortality and YPLL. Higher consumption increases risk but there is no safe threshold for alcohol and cancer risk. Reducing alcohol consumption is an important and underemphasized cancer prevention strategy,” write Nelson et.al.

We Can. I Can. But what is what?

The alcohol industry – contrary to what scientific evidence shows – keeps advertises and portraying alcohol as an integral part of a healthy, glamorous, and adventurous lifestyle.

  1. The alcohol industry perpetuates the myth of alcohol being healthy for the heart.
  2. The alcohol industry, however, perpetuates myths about alcohol belonging to party and social success.
  3. The alcohol industry advertises alcohol aggressively to associate their with glamor, success and sports heroes.

Big Alcohol plays a big role in confusing people, in perpetuating myths about alcohol and in blocking increased awareness of the cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption.

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Sex OR Cancer?

Alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer diseases, including breast cancer.

The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC), the WHO’s research body, has been classifying alcohol as carcinogenic since 1988.

The alcohol industry, however, advertises alcohol as an integral part of a healthy, glamorous, and adventurous lifestyle, often targeting (young) women.

This is not the bed you wanted to end up in...?

This is not the bed you wanted to end up in…?

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Health OR Cancer?

The alcohol industry perpetuates the myth of alcohol being healthy for the heart. That is what they tell you. But what they give you is something different…

The IARC estimates that alcohol lies behind 8% of all cases of cancer. After tobacco (18%), alcohol is thus the second biggest cause of cancer. According to some studies, 10% of total cancer cases in men and 3% total cancer cases in women could be attributable to alcohol use.

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They tell you one thing, but give something entirely different…

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Social Success OR Cancer

A European Union study showed that on average only 36% of the people know about alcohol’s role in cancer.

The AMPHORA project, a research project financed by the European Commission, calculates that 136.000 new cases of cancer in EU, yearly, are caused by alcohol use.

The alcohol industry, however, perpetuates myths about alcohol belonging to party and social success.

This is not the social success Big Alcohol promised you...

This is not the social success Big Alcohol promised you…

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Sports Glory OR Cancer?

Alcohol causes 7 types of cancers: mouth, throat, food pipe, voice box, breast (women), bowel and liver cancer. Cancer kills ca. 8 million people worldwide every year.

The alcohol industry advertises alcohol aggressively to associate it with glamour, success and sports heroes.

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This is not the glamour and attention Big Alcohol promised you…

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Download For Free

Download our What is what-postcards for free. And share them widely.

  1. ALCOHOL AND SEX OR ALCOHOL AND CANCER? (pdf)
  2. ALCOHOL AND HEALTH OR ALCOHOL AND CANCER? (pdf)
  3. ALCOHOL AND  SOCIAL SUCCESS OR ALCOHOL AND CANCER? (pdf)
  4. ALCOHOL AND SPORTS GLORY OR ALCOHOL AND CANCER? (pdf)

Evidence

  1. IARC Monograph Volume 96: “ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND ETHYL CARBAMATE”
  2. IARC Monographs – 100 E: “CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES”Consumption of alcoholic beverages was considered by previous IARC Working Groups in 1987 and 2007 (IARC, 1988, 2010). Since that time, new data have become available, these have been incorporated into the Monograph, and taken into consideration in the present evaluation.
  3. IARC Cancer Site by site
  4. Praud, Rehm, Zatonski et. al.: “Cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol consumption” (2015)
  5. Jürgen Rehm, Ph.D. and Kevin D. Shield, MH.Sc.: “Alcohol and Mortality: Global Alcohol-Attributable Deaths From Cancer, Liver Cirrhosis, and Injury in 2010”
  6. Cao Y, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL.,: “Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies.” BMJ. 2015;351:h4238.
  7. Nelson et. al., in: Am J Public Health. 2013 April; 103(4): “Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States
  8. EPIC Study: Schütze M et al. “Alcohol attributable burden of incidence of cancer in eight European countries based on results from prospective cohort study.” BMJ. 2011 Apr 7;342:d1584. PMID: 21474525
  9. World Cancer Report 2014
  10. 2011 Global Cancer Statistics
  11. The Guardian article on the global cancer surge
  12. British Medical Journal (BMJ): “Alcohol attributable burden of incidence of cancer in eight European countries based on results from prospective cohort study”
  13. World Bank. Policy Measures: The Growing Danger of Non-Communicable Diseases. Acting Now to Reverse Course
  14. WHO: Facts
  15. World Economic Forum (WEF) and Harvard School of Public Health: The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases