PARIS, Nov 3 — Alcohol consumption caused more than 700,000 new cancer cases and around 366,000 cancer deaths in 2012, mainly in rich countries, according to data reported yesterday to the World Cancer Congress in Paris.
Comparing the cancer risk of people who drink, to that of people who do not, researchers calculated that alcohol was responsible for an estimated five per cent of all new cancer cases, and 4.5 per cent of deaths per year.
“A large part of the population is unaware that cancer can be caused by alcohol,” study co-author Kevin Shield of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), told AFP of the preliminary report, not yet published.
Alcohol was most strongly linked to new breast cancer diagnoses — more than one in four of all alcohol-attributable cancer cases, the researchers found, followed by colorectal cancer at 23 per cent.
For breast cancer, particularly, it was clear that “the risk increases with the dose” of alcohol, said Shield.