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Alcohol link to tumours unknown to most of us

By Ella Pickover

Almost nine in 10 people do not associate drinking alcohol with an increased risk of cancer, a new report suggests.

Drinking has been linked to a heightened risk of several different types of cancer but the majority of people do not link the disease with consuming alcohol.

When people were asked which health conditions can result from drinking too much alcohol, 87% did not mention cancer.

This is despite the fact that drinking has been linked to liver, breast, bowel, mouth, throat, oesophageal and laryngeal cancers.

Public awareness remains "worryingly low", experts said. The poll of more than 2,100 adults in England found that many could not identify the maximum recommended daily amounts of alcohol.

"The link between alcohol and cancer is now well established, and it's not just heavy drinkers who are at risk," said Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer prevention.

"This is reflected in the new guidelines issued by the UK's Chief Medical Officers that stated that the risk of developing a range of illnesses, including cancer, increased with any amount of alcohol you drink.

"It's concerning that so few people know that alcohol increases the risk of seven types of cancer. If the new guidelines are to make a difference and change drinking habits in the UK, national health campaigns are needed to provide clear information about the health risks of drinking alcohol."

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