When a “spot of lunch” has hidden dangers

Jun 22, 2015
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Today sees the launch of our latest hard hitting health harms campaign for client Balance – The North East Alcohol Office.

 Almost one million North Easterners are ignoring Government health guidelines and drinking at levels which are putting them at greater risk of seven types of cancer.

Almost 2 in 5 of the region’s adults, around 813,000 people*, are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits. These are 2-3 units for a woman – no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine – or 3-4 units for a man, which is a pint of strong lager.

Evidence shows that if you regularly drink above the guidelines the risk of developing cancer is higher than non-drinkers.

Men are 1.8 to 2.5 times as likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat, and women are 1.2 to 1.7 times as likely.

  • Women are 1.2 times as likely to get breast cancer.
  • Men are twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis, and women are 1.7 times as likely.
  • Bowel cancer risk is 21% higher in people who drink around 1.5 to 6 units per day.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “It’s important for people to realise that it’s not just heavy drinkers at risk, there is no safe level of alcohol and the more a person drinks, the greater the risk.

“For many of us, the idea that alcohol can cause cancer is hard to accept. This comes as no surprise as low alcohol pricing, widespread availability and mass promotion has suggested alcohol is harmless. But it’s not.”

These concerning statistics have led to the launch of this campaign to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and seven cancers including mouth, pharyngeal (upper throat), oesophageal (food pipe), laryngeal (voice box), bowel cancer, breast and liver.

The campaign using TV, digital and print media will see a new hard-hitting commercial aired on screens from today (Monday 22nd June) over a four-week period.

For more information about the alcohol and seven cancers campaign visit reducemyrisk.tv

Find Balance on Facebook and on Twitter @BalanceNE. Tweet using #7cancers and join the conversation.

Keep this in mind next time you pop out for a spot of lunch!

*Based on population statistics from the Office of National Statistics which estimates the number of North East residents aged 18 and over at 2,085,435 as of 2013. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-322718

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