Nine out of ten people in England do not link alcohol drinking to any cancer, despite the fact that increased risk of seven major cancers are linked to drinking alcohol, report says.
A new report commissioned by Cancer Research UK, surveyed 2,100 people in July 2015. The report showed that almost 90 percent of people from England lack understanding on the link between drinking alcohol and cancer.
Among the participants, only 13 people answered "cancer" when asked about the health conditions associated with drinking alcohol. Liver, bowel, mouth, breast, esophageal, throat and laryngeal are the types of cancer link to drinking alcohol.
They participants of the online survey were asked about the seven types of cancer. Among these participants, 80 percent thought that liver cancer is caused by drinking alcohol and only 18 percent are aware that alcohol drinking can also cause breast cancer.
About 3,200 breast cancer cases and 400 cases of liver cancer are reported each year, both caused by drinking alcohol.
"People link drinking and liver cancer, but most still don't realize that cancers including breast cancer, mouth and throat cancers and bowel cancer are also linked with alcohol, and that risks for some cancers go up even by drinking a small amount," said Dr. Penny Buykx, senior researcher and one of the authors of the report from The University of Sheffield.
In addition to the study, only one out of five people can correctly remember the recommended number of alcohol units a day. One in ten men and one in seven women make use of these recommended drinking limits to track their drinking habits.
The recommended drinking units per week is 14 units of alcohol.
According to Alison Cox, director of cancer prevention, Cancer Research UK, it is not just those heavy drinkers are prone to cancer, but the risk of acquiring cancer is also increasing with any amount of alcohol a person drinks.
"The lack of public awareness of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer is extremely concerning," said Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of Alcohol Health Alliance.
"Consumers have the right to know the health risks of the products they purchase and consume."
Photo: Sam Howzit | Flickr