Alcohol and Cancer- the forgotten link
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Europe, nearly around 2.5 million EU citizens are diagnosed with cancer yearly. As many as 30% of cancers can be prevented if we make the healthier choices.
The European Week Against Cancer (25 to 31 May), has been re- launched under the leadership of the Association of European Cancer Leagues as one of the activities in the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer. Each year, EWAC will promote the European Code Against Cancer and this year is highlighting the crucial role healthy lifestyles can play in preventing cancer.
10% of cancers in men and 3% in women can be attributed to drinking alcohol. First conclusive links between alcohol and cancer were established back in 1987[i] yet 25 years later only 36% of EU citizens are sure of this link. The 2010 Eurobarometer report found that 1 in 5 European citizens do not believe that there is a connection between alcohol and cancer and 1 in 10 do not know about the link.
Mariann Skar, Eurocare Secretary General, commented: ‘The lack of knowledge of the risks associated with alcohol consumption is alarming. We all need to raise awareness that alcohol contributes to the development of cancers. It is our right as consumers to know about the side effects that alcohol can cause to our health. Health warning labels on alcoholic beverages would be a first step to raise awareness at a population level.
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