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 www.reducemyrisk.tv