Case Builds on Alcohol
It seems a trend: a building of evidence linking alcohol consumption to cancer. And the most troubling evidence seems to be that there is no safe level.
The Cancer Council Australia has revised its forecasts to reflect new research showing that alcohol has probably caused about 5.6 per cent of cancers inAustralia. A figure representing nearly 6500 of the 115,000 cases expected this year – double the 3.1 per cent nominated in the last assessment.
This builds on work by Associate Professor Graham Newstead on alcohol and bowel cancer from last year.
This completely outweighs the oft-expressed view that a small amount of alcohol has a healthy effect. This was always a weak argument because it ignored the effect alcohol has on obesity and ignored the fact that one third of cancers may be related to obesity, as well as the link between obesity and other conditions such as diabetes.
As a GP told me, “Alcohol is calorific, and all the useless calories in it are directed at your middle.”
And as Professor Ian Olver of the Cancer Council said, “There is no evidence of a safe dose.”
Alcohol emerges as a clearer public health challenge than ever before.