Health watchdogs’ warning on drinking’s rising toll

Colin Shevills of Balance.
Colin Shevills of Balance.

The North East has the highest rate of admissions to hospital for cancers caused by drinking.

And the figure is still rising, according to new statistics which have just been released by the alcohol campaign group Balance

It shows that the rate of admissions – which stands at 254 per 100,000 people – is 48 per cent higher than the national average.

They also show that the cost of managing alcohol-related cancer admissions was estimated to be £12.5m in 2012/13.

Balance director Colin Shevills said: “These findings make for uncomfortable reading and further highlight the need for the hidden harms associated with drinking to be addressed.

“Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions including cancer.

“You don’t need to be a heavy drinker to be at risk, drinking a pint of beer or a glass of wine every day can increase the risk of seven types of cancer and the more a person drinks, the more they increase their risk.

“We are all entitled to know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies so we can fully assess the risks and make informed choices about how much we drink.”

The calls come as part of Balance’s campaign to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and seven types of cancer including mouth, pharyngeal (upper throat), oesophageal (food pipe),

laryngeal (voice box), bowel, breast and liver.

Balance is calling for alcohol products to include nutritional information such as calorie content as well as warnings about how alcohol affects a person’s health.