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Home > UK 135,000 alcohol-related cancer deaths predicted by 2035.

[Cancer research UK] UK 135,000 alcohol-related cancer deaths predicted by 2035. (18 Nov 2016)

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Alcohol will cause around 135,000 cancer deaths over the next 20 years and will cost the NHS an estimated £2 billion in treatments, according to estimates from a new report by Sheffield University, commissioned by Cancer Research UK**.

“These new figures reveal the devastating impact alcohol will have over the coming years." - Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK

The new figures, published today (Friday), reveal that by 2035 the UK could see around 7,100 cancer deaths every year that are associated with alcohol. Of the cancer types included in the report, oesophageal cancer is set to see the largest increase, followed by bowel cancer, mouth and throat cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer.

The report also forecasts that there will be over 1.2 million hospital admissions for cancer over the 20 year period, which will cost the NHS £100 million, on average, every year.

The results were based on analyses that assume alcohol drinking trends will follow those seen over the last 40 years, and takes recent falls in alcohol consumption, including among young people, into account. 

Evidence suggests that the more alcohol you drink, the higher the risk of cancer. UK government guidelines, published earlier this year, advise that both men and women drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

The latest figures follow a Cancer Research UK study published earlier in the year that showed 9 in 10 people are unaware of the link between alcohol and cancer.

The report also examined the impact of introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol in England. It found that over 20 years a 50p minimum price per units of alcohol could reduce deaths linked to alcohol by around 7,200, including around 670 cancer deaths. It would also reduce healthcare costs by £1.3 billion. This follows a recent court decision in Scotland which found that a minimum unit price would not break European law.

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