Be Loud For Change
Cancer due to alcohol affects millions of people every year. But the alcohol industry keeps people in the dark about the fact their products cause 7 types of cancer. We want to raise awareness and call on politicians to act.
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.
The IARC working group writes:
"There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption causes cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colorectum, liver (hepatocellular carcinoma) and female breast.”Personal Habits and Indoor Combustions, IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 100E (2012)
But awareness among decision-makers and the broader public has not caught up with the fact that alcohol is a cause of 7 types of cancer.
Today an extensive body of evidence exists and keeps growing, showing how strong the correlation between alcohol use and cancer risk is.
No Safe or Healthy Amount of Alcohol Use
The evidence shows that, in general, the more alcoholic drinks people consume, the higher the risk of many cancers, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International’s Continuous Update Project (CUP).
For some cancers, there is an increased risk with any amount of alcohol consumed, whereas for other cancers the risk becomes apparent from a higher level of consumption.
"Alcoholic drinks are a cause of various cancers, irrespective of the type of alcoholic drink consumed. The causal factor is evidently the ethanol itself. The extent to which alcoholic drinks are a cause of various cancers depends on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumed.”
WCRF/ AIRC Continuous Update Project
A large part of the alcohol-related cancer burden originates from light to moderate alcohol consumption, especially among women. For example, in Germany the two most frequent cancers are breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
The World Cancer Report 2020 showed: In 2016, alcohol consumption was one of the leading risk factors for cancer development and cancer death globally.
Globally, of the 9 million cancer deaths, an estimated 0.4 million were attributable to alcohol consumption, in 2016. This means 4.2% of all cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol.
Cancer deaths caused by alcohol
After tobacco (18%), alcohol is the second biggest cause of cancer – long before other risk factors such as infections (3%), physical inactivity, or sunlight.
Research in Europe has shown that one in 10 Europeans are not aware of the
connection between alcohol and cancer, and that one in five do not believe there is a connection between cancer and alcohol.
The second biggest cause of cancer
1 in 10 Europeans are not aware
Solutions We Propose
Alcohol Policy Best Buys
Alcohol Warning Labelling
Cancer Code Including Prevention Messages
After tobacco (18%), alcohol is 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.
Evidence shows that Big Alcohol is
doing everything they can from muddying the science to propagating myths to keep people in the dark.
Big Alcohol influence and legal threats to shut down some of the studies and distorting and denying of data show that Big Alcohol hides the fact that “alcohol causes cancer” from the public.
As a consequence of the fact that a large part of the alcohol-related cancer burden originates from light to moderate alcohol consumption, a population preventive strategy is best aimed at reducing the alcohol-attributable cancer burden through evidence-based, cost-effective, and high-impact alcohol policy solutions.
Alcohol is the second biggest cause of cancer
Alcohol policy best buys
Big Alcohol keeps people in the dark
People and communities call for effective policy solutions and other interventions to increase awareness of alcohol's cancer risks. We want urgent action to prevent more cancer cases and deaths caused by the products of alcohol companies.