A study, published this Tuesday (13), in The Lancet Oncology, indicates that 4% of new cancer cases in 2020 are associated with alcohol consumption. The incidence is highest in men (76% of cases), who have been primarily diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, liver, breast, colorectal, mouth and throat.
Of the global total of cancer cases associated with alcohol consumption, 39% or 291,000 were diagnosed in people who drink from 20g to 60g a day, corresponding to two and six drinks. The highest indexes were registered in East Asia (5.7% of the global data) and Central and Eastern Europe (5.6%). The lowest are in North Africa (0.3%) and West Asia (0.7%).
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For those who consumed more than six doses, the record was 47% of all new cancer diagnoses. Even moderate doses are worrisome — this level of consumption represented 14% of the total, or 103,100 cases.
“Our results highlight the need for effective policies and interventions to raise awareness of the risks of cancer associated with alcohol consumption, and to decrease consumption to prevent the burden of related diseases”, highlight the authors in the publication.
The researchers evaluated as a basis the estimates of alcohol consumption per inhabitant of each country from the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health, linked to the World Health Organization (WHO), released in 2010.
They considered a 10-year latency period between alcohol consumption and the diagnosis of cancer. They then compared these data with the incidence levels of the disease in Globocan 2020, a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, to estimate new cases attributable to alcohol in each country.
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