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Drinking causing more breast cancer

15th February 2013

Researchers in the US have said drinking even a small amount of alcohol every day can raise the risk of developing breast cancer.

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The team discovered that 3.5% of all cancer deaths were caused by drinking alcohol and drinking is thought to cause 15% of breast cancer deaths. 

The researchers, from the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health,  published their findings in the American Journal of Public Health

The team said even "moderate consumption" of alcohol was linked with a third of cancer cases and every alcohol-related cancer death "accounted for an average of 18 years of potential life lost."

Professor Mark Bellis, director for the centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University said he had calculated the number of deaths from alcohol-related causes in the UK.

His research showed alcohol caused 9,000 deaths from related illnesses a year in the UK, of which 1,500 were from breast cancer. 

Professor Bellis told the Daily Telegraph: "There is no safe level of alcohol consumption in terms of cancer risk. Everyone should know if a substance carries that sort of risk. Posters shouldn't say 'drink responsibly' they should say something about the health risks, particularly around cancer."

He added: "The way most people drink is giving them no health benefit at all. We need to tackle the harmful effects of alcohol in the same way as tobacco. It is a fundamental right that people should not that alcohol causes cancer."

 

 

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