Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Campaign raises awareness of alcohol links to cancer

Friday, November 13, 2015


Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is backing a campaign launched by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and seven types of cancer in the run up to the festive period.

Almost one million North Easterners are ignoring Government health guidelines and drinking at levels which are putting them at greater risk of seven types of cancer.

A survey carried out by Balance revealed that almost two in five of the region’s adults, around 813,000 people, are regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits. These are 2-3 units for a woman – no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine – or 3-4 units for a man, which is a pint of strong lager.

The campaign falls in line with national Alcohol Awareness Week (16 to 22 November) which encourages people to consider the impact alcohol can have on health and communities.

The Council will be holding information stalls across the Borough where people will have the opportunity to sample alcohol-free ‘mocktail’ alternatives and find out more about the impact of alcohol on their health.

The stalls will be held from 10am to 4pm at the following locations:

  • Monday 16 November - North Tees Hospital
  • Wednesday 18 November - Stockton Central Library
  • Thursday 19 November – Thornaby Central Library

Evidence shows that if people regularly drink above the guidelines the risk of developing cancer is higher than non-drinkers:

  • Men are about twice as likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat, and women are about one and a half times as likely.
  • Women are 1.2 times as likely to get breast cancer.
  • Men are twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis, and women are 1.7 times as likely.
  • Bowel cancer risk is significantly higher in people who exceed the recommended daily limits

However, more than 90 per cent of people in the region who regularly drink above the recommended limits believe they are light or moderate drinkers.

These concerning statistics have led Balance to launch its campaign to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and seven cancers including mouth, pharyngeal (upper throat), oesophageal (food pipe), laryngeal (voice box), bowel cancer, breast and liver.

Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services, said: “Excessive alcohol consumption can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities. That’s why we work all year round with our partners to reduce the harmful impact of excessive drinking.

“While many people do drink responsibly, the campaign from Balance and the stalls we are holding across the Borough raise awareness of the long-term health risks associated with alcohol. I would encourage people to take the opportunity to find out more.”

The campaign will see a hard-hitting advert aired on television screens from today (Monday November 2nd) over a four-week period. The advert features a woman enjoying lunch and a glass of wine with her partner when she spills some of her drink on her top. The stain changes to show a growing tumour on her breast. You can view the film here – www.reducemyrisk.tv

Visit reducemyrisk.tv for more information.

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