Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Alcohol and obesity fuelling cancer

The UK has the highest rate of oesophageal cancer in Europe while liver cancer deaths have jumped more than 70%, according to two new sets of figures.

Alcohol and obesity are helping fuel both types of disease, with many of these cancer cases preventable if people were healthier.

A league table of European cancer rates of the oesophagus show about 6.4 out of every 100,000 people develop oesophageal cancer in the UK every year, almost double the European average of 3.3 and higher than Ireland, which came in second place (5.9), and the Netherlands in third (5.8).

Mongolia has the highest rate in the world (18.7).

The oesophagus is part of the body's digestive system and is the tube which links the back of the mouth to the stomach. The UK's high rate is partly due to high levels of alcohol consumption and obesity — known risk factors.

The league table was compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund using World Health Organisation estimates.

Around 8,000 oesophageal cancer cases are diagnosed in the UK each year and the disease kills more than 7,000. Just 8% of men and women are still alive five years after diagnosis.

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