North East hospital admissions for alcohol-related cancers more than double

Health warning is given over the long term risks of drinking too much, too often as hospital admissions rise

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, North East Alcohol Office
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, North East Alcohol Office

Health experts are warning about the long-term risks of alcohol as new analysis reveals a worrying increase in the number of hospital admissions for alcohol-related cancers in the North East.

A study by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, shows that the number of male hospital admissions for alcohol-related cancer of the lip, oral cavity and pharynx has more than doubled over the last nine years.

Within the same period there was also an 88% increase in the number of female hospital admissions for alcohol-related breast cancer. The highest percentage increases for breast cancer were seen amongst the under 45s. Hospital admissions for all alcohol-related cancer increased by 28% in the region.

Figures also revealed that deaths from alcohol-related cancers account for around one in five of all alcohol-related deaths in the North East.


Dr Tony Branson, consultant clinical oncologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and medical director of the North of England Cancer Network, said: “The North of England Cancer Network is committed to reducing deaths from cancer.

“A major part must come from a decrease in the incidence of avoidable cancers. Reduction of alcohol consumption, particularly excessive and long-term drinking, would make a significant contribution to this.”

The findings follow the launch of a new health campaign by Balance which highlights the link between alcohol and seven types of cancer - mouth cancer, pharyngeal cancer, oesophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and liver cancer.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “These figures are extremely worrying. Alcohol is a poison, it’s in the same cancer causing group as tobacco smoke and asbestos – we really need to continue to drive this message home. It’s important that people are aware of the serious long-term health risks associated with drinking alcohol, as well as the short-term health implications. Visit


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