Poor awareness level among public about cancer-causing effects of alcohol: Study

Posted on May 12th, 2016 in Alcohol Abuse, cancer

Poor awareness level among public about cancer-causing effects of alcohol: Study

The last thing anyone would want to hear is that alcohol causes cancer. But sadly, the results of consuming excessive alcohol can be far worse than feared, affecting a person in many different ways. There is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and various types of cancers, such as mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, liver, etc.

The more alcohol a person consumes, the higher is his risk of developing some kind of cancer. A 2016 survey by the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) suggested that only one in 10 Britons knows that regular excess drink can increase one’s risk of serious illnesses, including cancer. Despite the evidence, there is a widespread ignorance of the link between cancer and alcohol, which proves that people need to be made aware of the associated dangers.

Organizations bat for health warnings on labels of alcohol products

The survey included nationally represented sample of 2,100 people, of which 80 percent knew that alcohol increases the risk of liver cancer, but only 18 percent were aware that it ups the chance of breast cancer too. Experts believe that the government’s safe drinking guidelines, which are same for both men and women and suggest not drinking more than 14 units per week, may help people make better life choices and also help caregivers guide the community in reducing health risks.

It is surprising to know that people have a poor understanding about cancer-causing effects of alcohol. Looking at the ignorance, it is time for authorities to come up with more steps to spread awareness about alcohol increasing the risk of a number of cancers.

To alert the public about the health risks linked with high alcohol intake, the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), U.K., has urged ministers to put health warnings on the labels of all alcohol products and launch mass media information campaigns.

Sir Ian Gilmore, a liver specialist, AHA chair, said, “The lack of public awareness of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer is extremely concerning. It is not just heavy drinkers who are at risk. Any amount increases the risk.”

Regular alcohol overindulge harms others as well

It has long been known that excessive alcohol consumption is associated with some form of cancer and limiting the amount of alcohol may help lower the risk. Those who regularly overindulge in alcohol not only harm themselves, but others as well. It interferes with the brain’s communication pathway and can progress to permanent brain damage, causing dementia. Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with various other problems. They are:

  • Frequent injuries due to car crash, falls, burns and drowning
  • Involvement in violent crimes linked with aggression, sexual assault or domestic violence
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
  • Increased family problems and broken relationships
  • Alcohol addiction and poisoning
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased risk of various types of cancer

Even a small amount of alcohol can have adverse effects as it easily travels through the body, eventually reaching many parts, including the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.

Path to recovery

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death, says the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). Excessive alcohol use, both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, can lead to numerous health problems, chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems.

Like other deadly diseases, drinking can also get out of control. That’s why it’s important to reconsider your drinking habits. If you or a loved one is struggling to get rid of the devastating habit, various alcohol treatment centers can help you get the right treatment. Get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction Treatment Arizona at the 24/7 helpline number 866-671-1510. Right counseling and support can help tackle social factors that might contribute to an alcohol problem.

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