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.
- Recent data indicate that the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol worldwide has increased. 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.
- In 2012, alcohol consumption caused 5.5% of all cases of cancer and 5.8% of all cancer deaths.
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. Challenge alcohol industry myths.
The alcohol industry – contrary to what scientific evidence shows – keeps advertizing and portraying alcohol as an integral part of a healthy, glamorous, and adventurous lifestyle.
- The alcohol industry perpetuates the myth of alcohol being healthy for the heart.
- The alcohol industry, however, perpetuates myths about alcohol belonging to party and social success.
- 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.
We can. I can. Raise awareness.
Too few people around the world know about the fact that alcohol is a huge cancer risk and that it causes 7 types of cancer. There is no safe amount of alcohol use and there is no healthy alcohol use either.
Nobody would take a pill that’s good for the heart but that also causes 7 types of cancer.
We can I can. Advocate for alcohol policies to prevent cancer.
Alcohol control is cancer control.
The fewer people use alcohol and the less they consume, the better for their health and the smaller is their cancer risk.
This matters also for cancer survivors. And it matters for the people who are not using alcohol at all. They should continue to live free from alcohol. Evidence-based alcohol policy measures, such as taxation, marketing regulation and availability restrictions, all help prevent cancer.
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